WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The two Colorado politicians vying for the U.S. Senate seat are separated by a mere point, the latest poll shows.
According to a Thursday Quinnipiac University poll, 45 percent of voters would select Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. His Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, would receive 44 percent if the election were held today.
The gender gap between the candidates is wide, as Udall leads 52-35 percent among women while Gardner leads 53-38 percent among men.
Among Democrats, Udall leads 90-3 percent while Gardner takes Republicans 88-7 percent and also gets 43 percent of independent voters to Udall's 41 percent, the poll shows.
In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 16 percent of voters list the economy or jobs as the most important issue in deciding their U.S. Senate vote, and 14 percent list healthcare. No other issue comes close.
"In a race that is both too close to call and one of the prime targets for Republicans trying to take back the Senate, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall might best focus on one predominant concern - the economy," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.
The poll shows that voters who list the economy back Gardner over Udall 53-40 percent and voters who cite health care back the Republican 57-36 percent.
Voters have a mixed outlook on the economy as 60 percent say the state's economy is "excellent" or "good," while 39 percent say "not so good" or "poor." At the same time, only 26 percent of voters say the nation's economy is "excellent" or "good," while 73 percent say "not so good" or "poor."
Colorado voters oppose the Affordable Care Act 59-37 percent, including 62-34 percent among independent voters.
The poll shows Colorado voters are divided 42-42 percent in their approval of the job Udall is doing as a U.S. Senator and say 46-40 percent he does not deserve to be reelected.
The incumbent gets a 43-38 percent favorability rating, compared to Gardner's 30-18 percent score. But 50 percent of voters don't know enough about Gardner to form an opinion.
Reach David Yates at email@example.com