Jun 30, 2022 - News

Where polls show Democrats stand in Colorado ahead of 2022 midterms

Colorado voters' view of top Democrats
Data: GSG; Chart: Axios Visuals

Top-of-the-ticket Democrats in Colorado are starting the 2022 general election season with a sizable advantage. But ominous signs suggest Republicans could make gains come November.

State of play: U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet leads his Republican opponent Joe O'Dea, a first-time candidate who won the GOP primary Tuesday, by 12 points, 49% to 37%, according to an early June poll conducted by Global Strategy Group, a Democratic firm. Another 14% remain undecided.

  • The gap is narrower among unaffiliated voters, but swing counties appear to favor Bennet, the poll finds.

In the governor's race, Democratic incumbent Jared Polis holds a 17-point lead against GOP rival Heidi Ganahl — the only statewide elected Republican who won her primary by a solid margin.

  • In the poll, Polis received 54% support, compared to 37% for Ganahl. Another 9% were undecided.
  • Polis' job approval remains positive at 56%, with 37% disapproving.

Between the lines: The numbers reflect that both Republican candidates are less known than their Democratic opponents.

  • Whether they can make a positive impression in coming months and erode that favorability will prove decisive in the midterms.

Zoom out: President Biden's popularity is plunging in Colorado, as 42% of registered voters have a positive view of him, compared to 56% who view him unfavorably — a 5-point net decline compared to a similar February poll.

  • Even though he's not on the ballot, Biden's dismal numbers may cast gloom on the Democratic ticket, and enthusiasm is on the GOP side.

What they're saying: In his victory speech, O'Dea repeatedly connected Bennet to Biden —a sign of the newcomer's strategy.

  • "Let there be no doubt, the Colorado Senate race is a referendum on Joe Biden's policies and Michael Bennet's rubber stamp," O'Dea told supporters.

The other side: Democratic strategists insist they aren't worried about Biden hurting their chances, pointing to the state's blue bent in recent elections.

  • "Bennet and Polis have been running ahead of Biden the whole time," said Ian Silverii, a prominent Democratic consultant in Colorado. "I think they are going to try to make this a fight … but Republicans are incredibly unpopular in Colorado and their brand is toxic."

Of note: The poll's margin of error is 3.4 points, and the results are weighted to match the state's registered voter population.

  • It was conducted before the Supreme Court's decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.
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