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Poll: Democrats running in Colorado’s major statewide races hold big leads

Dems leading by wide margins in races for U.S. Senate, governor, attorney general and secretary of state
Gov. Jared Polis speaks during a rally on the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo on Sept. 28 in Pueblo. (David Zalubowski/Associated Press file)

The Colorado Democrats running for reelection this year to major statewide offices – including U.S. Senate, governor, attorney general and secretary of state – hold big leads over their Republican challengers less than a month before Election Day, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The poll was conducted by Global Strategy Group, a Democratic firm, from Oct. 6-11 among 800 registered voters. It had a 3.5 percentage point margin of error. The poll was conducted in partnership with ProgressNow Colorado, a liberal nonprofit. The Colorado Sun refers to the organization as a dark-money group because it doesn’t have to disclose its donors.

If the survey’s findings are correct – the findings are much more favorable for Democrats than the numbers in other recent polls – the GOP is staring down another year of devastating election results on Nov. 8. No Republican running statewide has won more than 45% of the vote in the past two election cycles.

The poll found Democratic Gov. Jared Polis leads his Republican challenger, University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl, by 54% to 33% with 7% undecided. That’s the largest margin of any of the races polled by Global Strategy Group.

In the U.S. Senate race, 50% of those polled said they would vote for Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet compared to 35% who said they would back Republican Joe O’Dea, a first-time candidate who owns a Denver construction company. Eight percent said they were undecided.

The gap in the Senate race narrowed by 4 percentage points to 49% for Bennet and 38% for O’Dea when Global Strategy Group weighed the results to mirror the likely 2022 electorate.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold led her Republican challenger, former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, at 46% to 34% with 10% undecided.

In the attorney general’s race, Democratic incumbent Phil Weiser led his Republican challenger, 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner, at 44% to 35% with 13% undecided.

Voters are typically less familiar with down-ballot candidates, which may be why the percentages of undecided voters were so high in the polling for the secretary of state and attorney general races.

RealClearPolitics, a politics news and analysis website, averages polling results. Bennet leads O’Dea by 8 percentage points in polls analyzed by the site – not including the new Global Strategy Group survey – while Polis leads Ganahl by 14 percentage points. (RealClearPolitics doesn’t have polling averages for the attorney general and secretary of state races.)

The Global Strategy Group also tested President Joe Biden’s and Polis’ approval ratings. Forty-six percent of those polled said they approve of Biden’s work, while 51% said they disapprove and 3% said they weren’t sure. For Polis, 58% said they approve of the job he is doing, while 27% said they disapprove and 6% said they weren’t sure.

The approval ratings for Polis and Biden have improved since June, the last time Global Strategy Group conducted a similar survey.

Colorado county clerks on Monday began mailing ballots to voters.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to covering Colorado issues. To learn more, go to coloradosun.com.