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New Republican Poll Shows Colorado Races Close

Countering a few recent independent polls showing Rep. Mark Udall (D) with a solid lead over former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) in their battle for Colorado’s open Senate seat, the Schaffer campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Wednesday released their own poll showing the race much closer.

The telephone survey was conducted Aug. 23-24 and found Udall leading Schaffer 41 percent to 38 percent, with 12 percent either undecided or refusing to state a preference. The poll also showed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) leading Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in their battle for Colorado’s eight electoral votes, 43 percent to 40 percent.

“Schaffer’s 38 percent is exactly the same as recorded in the spring survey, but Udall’s 41 percent represents a 4-point slide from that poll,” pollster David Hill, of Hill Research Consultants, said in a polling memo prepared for the Schaffer campaign and the NRSC.

The poll surveyed 553 likely Colorado voters and had an error margin of 4.2 points. Schaffer and Udall are running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Wayne Allard (R), who is retiring.

Recent polls have shown Udall to be leading Schaffer by significant margins. An Aug. 13-15 Denver Post/Mason Dixon survey had Udall leading Schaffer 47 percent to 37 percent; an Aug. 21-24 Suffolk University poll showed Udall leading Schaffer 39 percent to 31 percent.

The poll conducted for the Schaffer campaign and the NRSC also discovered the following:

• Three third-party candidates garnered nearly 10 percent support collectively.

• Udall and Schaffer are almost identical when it comes to their unfavorable ratings, with the Democrat’s negatives at 33 percent, and the Republican’s at 34 percent.

• Udall has a healthy lead over Schaffer in Denver and Boulder, with Schaffer ahead in Denver’s southern suburbs, Colorado Springs, the Eastern Plains and the Western Slope.

• Udall led among women; Schaffer led among men and Catholics.

• Schaffer held a 46 percent to 32 percent lead among those voters who favor more domestic oil and gas drilling. Of those polled, 75 percent of respondents said they favored more domestic drilling for oil and gas.

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