A new poll of 12 battleground states by National Public Radio shows Republicans edging out Democrats for control of the U.S. Senate in November, 46-43 percent.
In Colorado, where Democratic incumbent Mark Udall is fighting toe-to-toe with Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner, another poll on behalf of the National Mining Association shows Gardner edging Udall by 47-45 percent.
The margin is similar to other polls conducted this year, but most have had Udall nosing ahead, not Gardner.
The NPR poll prompted a last minute fundraising scramble by Udall, whose campaign manager admitted the poll was “good news” for Gardner in an email to the campaign’s finance director,according to an article in the Colorado Observer.
“This is good news for Congressman Gardner who will surely seize on these poll results to boost his fundraising for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) primary deadline [on Tuesday],” the Observerquotes campaign manager Adam Dunstone as writing.
The race is one of several critical contests around the country that could decide which party controls the Senate. The NPR poll found that President Obama’s job approval rating is lower in the 12 battleground states it surveyed than in the rest of the country. Only 38 percent of those polled approve of the job Obama is doing in office.
Overall, voters in those states trust Republicans more than Democrats on the key issues of the economy, health care and foreign policy. They’re evenly split over which party they trust more on the future of the middle class.
The poll results represent a “daunting challenge for Democrats” pollster Whit Ayers of Resurgent Republic told NPR.
“That is a huge load for these Democratic candidates to carry all the way through the fall,” he said.
The poll also found that partisan voters were both equally engaged in the campaign, which is somewhat unique for midterm elections, meaning that candidates will be fighting for every vote in November.
“Even with equal enthusiasm, Republican still hold a generic advantage and President Obama is still remarkably unpopular,” Ayers said.