Reuters-Ipsos Poll: Democrat closing gap in Colorado Senate race

October 19, 2010

The Senate race in Colorado is almost neck-and-neck, with Democrat Michael Bennet closing in on Republican Ken Buck and narrowing his lead to 3 points, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll.

But the enthusiasm gap favors Republicans, with 72 percent saying they are certain to vote in the Nov. 2 midterm elections compared with 55 percent of Democrats.

USA-POLITICS/The Senate contest pits Bennet, who was appointed to the seat vacated by Ken Salazar when he became President Barack Obama’s Interior Secretary, and Buck, who is backed by the conservative Tea Party movement.

Former President Bill Clinton showed up in Denver late Monday to campaign for Bennet, which was notable because he had endorsed Bennet’s rival in the Democratic primary.

Colorado is one of the races seen as a guage of how strong the anti-incumbent mood is among voters largely worried about the economy and whether Tea Party candidates can generate broad appeal.

In the latest Reuters-Ipsos poll, Bennet trails Buck 45-48 percent, which is narrower than the August poll when Bennet trailed 40-49 percent.

Among registered voters, 41 percent think Buck is “strongly aligned” with the ideals of the Tea Party movement. Among those who identify strongly with the Tea Party, 54 percent think Buck is “strongly aligned” to the movement. OBAMA/

When it came to having the right policies on issues, Bennet led on abortion and healthcare, while Buck led on immigration and taxes.

In the governor’s race, Democrat John Hickenlooper appears to be benefiting from two candidates splitting the Republican vote. 

Hickenlooper is ahead 46 percent vs. 35 percent against former Republican Tom Tancredo who is now running as a third-party candidate and vs. 14 percent against Republican Dan Maes, who has lost the support of some Republican and Tea Party leaders.

Photo credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking (Buck greets supporters on night of Republican primary Aug. 10), Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Obama shakes hands with Bennet at fundraiser Feb. 18)

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