- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DENVER — A Fox News poll released Wednesday showed Republican Rep. Cory Gardner pulling away from Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, with a 6-point lead in the Colorado Senate race.

The poll, conducted by Anderson Robbins Research/Shaw & Company Research, had Mr. Gardner leading Mr. Udall by 43 to 37 percent. Four of the last five surveys have placed Mr. Gardner ahead by anywhere from 1 to 8 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics.com.

Meanwhile, Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Republican Rep. Bob Beauprez were tied at 42 to 42 percent in the governor’s race, according to the poll of 739 likely Colorado voters.

Helping the GOP candidates was a sizeable enthusiasm gap: 77 percent of Republicans said they were “extremely” or “very” interested in the Nov. 4 election, compared to just 57 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of unaffiliated voters.

Another problem for Democrats was President Obama’s approval rating. Just 36 percent of those surveyed approved of his job performance, while 57 percent disapproved.

The sample of respondents was 35 percent Republican, 34 percent Democrat and 28 percent unaffiliated, which “looks much more like a normal midterm election,” said the conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics.

“Interestingly enough, this newest poll pulls their random samples from voter files and not random cold calls. Some polling wonks argue this results in a more accurate poll than polls that rely on people who self-identify their party,” said the blog’s analysis.

While Mr. Udall has pounded the “war on women” theme in his campaign, the poll found him with a relatively small 5-point lead among women voters. Mr. Gardner led with men by 17 points.

Mr. Hickenlooper enjoyed a 14-point lead with women, even though his campaign hasn’t focused to nearly the same extent on women’s health issues that Mr. Udall’s has, which may confirm speculation that the “war on women” strategy is fizzling with Colorado voters.

Anderson Robbins Research is a Democrat-tilting polling firm that works in collaboration with Shaw & Company, a Republican-leaning pollster. Interviews were conducted on 461 landlines and 278 cell phones from Oct. 4-7.

The results came as part of a five-state poll on races in five battleground states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas and Kentucky.

While Republican Senate candidates led their opponents in all five states, it wasn’t by much. None of the frontrunners was outside the margin of error and none pulled above the 50 percent threshold.

In Kansas, where Republican Sen. Pat Roberts is facing a tough re-election challenge from independent Greg Orman in a race with no Democratic candidate, Mr. Roberts led by 44 to 39 percent.

In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ran ahead of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes by 45 to 41 percent. Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas trailed Republican Tom Cotton by seven points, with Mr. Cotton leading 46 to 39 percent.

Republicans were also ahead in three of the four states with races for governor, with a tie in Colorado. In Arkansas, Republican Asa Hutchinson led Democrat Mike Ross by 46 to 37 percent, while Republican Gov. Sam Brownback led Democrat Paul Davis by 46 to 40 percent.

In Alaska, Republican Gov. Sean Parnell led independent candidate Bill Walker by 42 to 37 percent. Democratic nominee Byron Mallott dropped out of the race last month and agreed to run for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Mr. Walker.

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