Poll: Udall losing ground to Stephens, Buck

Sen. Mark Udall

DENVER — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat seeking a second term this fall, only leads his most likely Republican challenger, Ken Buck, by three points, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Udall leads Buck by a margin of 45 percent to 42 percent and his lead over state Rep. Amy Stephens is even slimmer, 43-41.

He leads state Sen. Owen Hill by a 44-39 percent margin.

Overall, 45 percent of Coloradans approve of Udall’s job performance, while 41 percent disapprove.

Udall, an outspoken critic of the NSA domestic surveillance program, has been knocked back on his heels a bit by the problem-plagued roll-out of Obamacare, which 60 percent of those polled oppose.

Republicans have charged that his office tried to pressure Colorado’s Dept. of Insurance to lower its estimated number of people whose policies were cancelled as a result of the new health care law being implemented, although a panel convened to investigate found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Last week, immediately following the State of the Union, Udall stumbled in an interview with CNN, unable to say whether he’d be interested in campaigning with President Obama this fall.

Udall, despite a rough few months of press, has nearly $5 million in the bank — and the luxury of a Republican field of would-be opponents all struggling to raise money and inspire confidence that they’ll be able to mount a serious challenge.

The poll also shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suffering from the “Bridge-gate” controversy with Colorado voters.

His eight-point lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 presidential match-up is gone.

Clinton now leads Christie in Colorado, a critical swing state, by a 43-42 percent margin.

In late November, Christie led Clinton in Quinnipiac’s last survey of Colorado voters by a 46-38 percent margin.

Additionally, the poll shows that 67 percent of Coloradans support President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage; although the president’s disapproval rating in Colorado, a state he twice won, is up to 59 percent, the highest it’s been.