More than a year out, Colorado’s U.S. Senate race is polling right at expectations: Republican Bob Schaffer is in a dead heat with Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall, with a hefty share of voters undecided or unsatisfied. Despite recent history and all the clamor about divisions within the state’s GOP, including this:
Ciruli said Schaffer is attracting a lower percentage of voters from Republicans, Democrats and the unaffiliated, but there are 130,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, keeping Schaffer competitive.
â€œItâ€™s still very early in the campaign, but Schafferâ€™s challenge will be to unify his party and attract more unaffiliated voters as the public begins to make up its mind,â€ Ciruli said.
Ciruli’s observations seem to reflect conventional wisdom more than the actual numbers reported from his survey:
The poll showed Udall with 72 percent support from his own party, 6 percent from Republicans and 34 percent from the unaffiliated, while Schaffer got 68 percent support from his own party, 3 percent from Democrats and 19 percent unaffiliated.
With a poll reported to have a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent, Udall’s report among Democrats is only 4 points higher than Schaffer’s report among Republicans? Judgment on these results should be withheld, of course, until we have more context and a broader range of polling data to digest. But the early indication gives Colorado Republicans optimism that perhaps Schaffer can move beyond the party unification and start courting independents earlier than anticipated.
Meanwhile, a watcher debunks the wishful thinking of the Democrat candidate’s spokesperson at Schaffer v Udall.
In the end, the name of the game is fundraising. As the Associated Press reports:
Schafferâ€™s campaign said it raised $717,000 during the second quarter after getting a late start and has not filed a report for the third quarter. Udall, who began raising money in the first quarter, has raised $3.8 million, including $1.5 million transferred over from his congressional campaign fund.
We await Schaffer’s third quarter fundraising report.