DENVER — An analysis released Wednesday brought bad news for Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado Democrat, whose numbers show him in bigger re-election trouble than was Democratic Sen. Mark Udall was at this stage of the 2014 election cycle that ended in his defeat.
Only 32 percent of voters surveyed say Mr. Bennet should be re-elected in 2016, while 40 percent say he shouldn’t. Almost exactly two years ago, 44 percent of voters said Mr. Udall should be re-elected, while 36 percent disagreed.
Mr. Udall lost his reelection race by two percentage points to Republican Cory Gardner.
“When examining former Senator Mark Udall’s approval and re-election numbers 14 months out to Bennet’s, it’s clear that Bennet, even without a Republican challenger, faces an unfriendly political environment,” said Denver political analyst Floyd Ciruli, using polling data from the Quinnipiac Poll.
In the analysis on his political blog, Mr. Ciruli added that, “Compared to Udall, he has 6 points less approval; he’s below the President’s (45% national).”
So far no leading Republican has entered the 2016 Colorado Senate contest, while at least two — Rep. Mike Coffman and his wife, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman — have said they will not challenge Mr. Bennet.
In August 2013, Mr. Udall had several Republicans actively seeking the GOP Senate nomination, including now-Rep. Ken Buck and former state Rep. Amy Stephens. Mr. Gardner did not enter the race until late February 2014.
Mr. Ciruli said that the incumbent Mr. Bennet could also be hurt by Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton’s declining poll numbers in Colorado, given that “Senate races have become more tied to presidential races.”