How close is Colorado’s U.S. Senate race? Campaigns ready for a “dogfight”

Colorado Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennett, left, battles Republican challenger Joe O’Dea, right, in the November election.
Jintak Han and Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Recent head-to-head polls in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race paint a picture of two different contests before the traditional start of general election political politics.

The two polls, both from highly rated companies but with different political leanings, each show incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in the lead, but nowhere near the 50% mark. It’s their findings on Republican challenger Joe O’Dea where they really diverge.

Public Policy Polling, which holds an A-grade of the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight and is generally affiliated with the Democrats, found 46% of respondents would vote for Bennet against 35% for O’Dea – but 12% are undecided. Furthermore, he revealed that 44% of respondents were undecided about their opinion of the leader of the Republican construction company.

This poll sampled 782 Colorado voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. But, notably, it does not filter by likely voters and 11% of respondents said they did not vote or voted for a third in the 2020 presidential election. The 2020 general election set a voter turnout record, with nearly 87% of active voters casting their ballots. Only about 2.5% of votes for president were for third-party candidates.

Meanwhile, a more opaquely presented poll shows a stalemate, according to the washington examiner. According to the Examiner, that poll showed Bennet with 48% support to O’Dea’s 47%, with 5% undecided. However, the Colorado GOP declined to make this poll available to the Examiner or other media, making it difficult to determine the details of the poll and how its results were characterized.

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