- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2014

With less than eight weeks until the election, the U.S. Senate race in Colorado is a statistical dead heat and “could go either way,” said a new poll released Friday.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall had a 4-point lead over Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner, 46-42 percent, on the cusp of the 3.9 percent margin of error in the SurveyUSA poll conducted for the Denver Post.

The race “could go either way” at this point, said the pollsters.

Colorado is among a handful of states with close races that will determine which party wins majority control of the U.S. Senate this year. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to seize control from Democrats, who are expected to lose three seats currently held by the party and have at least another seven in toss-up races.

Mr. Udall is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this year.

“It is a very tough year to be a Democrat,” Eric Sondermann, a Denver-based independent political analyst, told the newspaper. He said Mr. Udall “would much rather be 4 points up than 4 points down. But he’s still in a difficult race and a difficult climate.”

Mr. Udall, who has hammered Mr. Gardner with “war on women” attacks for his stance on abortion and birth control, leads among women by 13 points.

But Mr. Gardner has made inroads with Hispanics, cutting Mr. Udall’s lead among that voting bloc to just 2 points, the poll said.

Mr. Udall leads by 19 points in the Denver area, the state’s population center that is crucial for winning statewide elections. But Mr. Gardner leads everywhere else, including by 11 points in the Colorado Springs area and by 16 points throughout the rest of the state.

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