Sen. Michael Bennet goes into the thick of the campaign season ahead of his Democratic primary rival and in a statistical tie with the leading Republican, according to a Public Policy Polling survey.
Of the 442 voters surveyed who said they were likely to vote in the August Democratic primary, 46 percent backed Bennet and 31 percent preferred former Colorado Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
In March, PPP pegged Bennet’s lead at 40 percent to 30 percent.
Bennet has used his big fundraising advantage over Romanoff to air television commercials that promote an outsider message of “cleaning up” a “broken” Washington, D.C. Romanoff has tried to link Bennet to Wall Street.
The survey, which was in the field May 14-16, had an error margin of 4.7 points.
PPP also sampled the opinions of 448 likely Republican voters and found former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton’s advantage in the GOP primary has narrowed.
Norton led county prosecutor Ken Buck 31 percent to 26 percent, down from the 34 percent to 17 percent advantage she had in March.
That part of the survey had a 4.6-point margin of error.
Norton has raised far more money than Buck and has support from numerous GOP Senators. But she spent almost as much as she raised in this year’s first quarter, and Buck narrowly outpolled Norton at nonbinding GOP precinct caucuses in March. He has the backing of the Senate Conservatives Fund, an organization headed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
Several lesser-known Republicans are seeking the nomination, and nearly three in 10 Republican voters said they were undecided about a candidate.
Looking ahead to the general election, PPP tested Bennet versus Norton and found the incumbent favored by 44 percent and Norton favored by 41 percent.
Substitute Buck’s name, and Bennet led 45 percent to 39 percent.
When PPP tested Romanoff against the top Republican hopefuls, the Democrat was favored 43 percent to 41 percent and led Buck 41 percent to 38 percent.
The general election poll, with a sample size of 1,060, had a 3-point margin of error.