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August 15, 2008

Udall Leads Rocky Poll

Democratic Rep. Mark Udall maintains his healthy, but slim, lead over Republican ex-Rep. Bob Schaffer, a new independent poll shows. But both candidates are well under the crucial 50% mark, as they have been virtually all year, making some wonder whether both candidates might not be too far to one side or the other for Colorado.

The poll, conducted for the Rocky Mountain News and CBS4 Denver by Public Opinion Strategies, surveyed 500 registered voters 8/11-13 for a margin of error of +/- 4.4%. Udall, Schaffer, independent candidate Buddy Moore and Green Party nominee Bob Kinsey were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All / Ind)
Udall..............44 / 34
Schaffer.......38 / 33
Moore.............5 / 12
Kinsey............2 / --

Udall has a big 14-point lead among women and trails among men by just three, according to the News' write-up. And, as further evidence of Colorado's changing political landscape, the candidates are approximately tied on the Western Slope, previously a Republican bastion that is now represented by Democrat John Salazar.

But Schaffer should be pleased that he trails by a single point among independent voters. Still, the way this race is going, it is telling that so many independents haven't picked a candidate yet: Both Udall and Schaffer are trying to convince voters their opponent is too far out of the mainstream, and in the early part of the race, both may have succeeded.

A word on methodology: Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican firm based in Northern Virginia, has a satellite office in Denver. To ensure the survey can be judged as an independent poll instead of a Republican-leaning one, Democratic firm RBI Strategies consulted on the poll's design and analysis of the data. Both companies are among the top recommended by strategists in their respective parties.