After a month of polls, Senator Udall remains ahead by a point and Governor Hickenlooper by slightly less than two in the Real Clear Politics average. Both Democratic putative frontrunners had to deal with the first credible poll that showed them behind – Quinnipiac, which has a long-track record in Colorado.
The NBC/Marist poll was warmly received by Democrats, but felt like an outlier. Between margin of error and timing, it’s possible to see significant shifts, but a 7-point lead for Udall in mid-July appears excessive and would have to be confirmed by other polls. And, although the Governor had reported double-digit leads earlier in the year, a closer race is now reflected in a couple of polls (Quinnipiac and Rasmussen – tie). But, in this race, more data will be needed. The presumption remains that Hickenlooper has the advantage.
Coloradans tend to re-elect incumbent senators (last incumbent senator (D) lost in 1978, a Republican lost in 1972) and governors (last elected incumbent (D) lost in 1962, appointed (R) in 1974). But in 2014, both incumbents are going to have to work hard to keep their jobs.