Friday, October 24, 2014

Udall Behind Beyond MOE

Mark Udall is losing his bid to be re-elected and a major reason is his poorly constructed media campaign that has raised his unfavorability rating more than his opponent’s. Now down by more than the margin of error (MOE) in most of the recent Colorado polls, Udall, in a desperate last move, is releasing advertising showing him smiling and climbing mountains, his preferred activity.  Too late.

The latest poll to be released by USA Today/Suffolk University, their second of the season, shows him losing to Cory Gardner by 7 points (their Sept. 16 poll had Udall down by 1 point). Udall is now behind by 4 points on the Real Clear Politics arithmetic average and predicted to lose in Nate Silver’s 538 forecast by 80 percent.

It is the USA Today/Suffolk poll that highlights Udall’s poor favorability rating as a major factor in his poor performance.

Udall’s favorable to unfavorable rating is 41 percent to 54 percent, a 13 percent negative spread. Gardner has a 45 percent to 41 percent rating, or 4 points to the positive. The USA Today/Suffolk poll asked which candidate ran the most negative campaign and Udall won that 46 percent to 29 percent for Gardner.

The Denver Post, in their endorsement of Gardner, captured Udall’s problem when it referenced his “obnoxious one-issue campaign” that was an insult to women. Or, as my blog of October 14 said: “His multi-million dollar ‘war on women’ ad campaign is now damaging him more than Gardner.”

In an analysis by Harry Enten in the 538 blog, the difficulty of making up deficits in polling averages of 4 points with get-out-the-vote efforts is highlighted.

Of course, part of Udall’s problem is that in the last week the President has lost 2 points in his approval average and Republicans have picked up 2 in the generic ballot test. It may not be a wave yet, but the water is very deep for Democrats.

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