In a new Quinnipiac University poll filled with bad trends for Gov. John Hickenlooper, poor ratings for President Obama, and lackluster early numbers for 2016 Democratic presidential contenders, Sen. Mark Udall's, D-Colo., approval ratings stand out as a possible bright spot for his party.
The first-term senator's job approval is below 50 percent but still firmly positive: 45 percent of survey respondents said they approved of how Udall has handled his job, while 31 percent said they disapproved. Another 24 percent refused to answer or said they didn't know, meaning Udall has some name recognition to work on ahead of his first reelection campaign in 2014. Udall's ratings were virtually identical with independent voters.
The poll didn't include any ballot tests matching Udall against potential Republican opponents. Forty percent of voters said Udall deserves reelection, while 33 percent said he doesn't. But most of the space between Udall's approval rating and that number comes from Democrats, according to the poll's crosstabs, and those voters are likely to get onboard with Udall as the election draws nearer.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,065 registered Colorado voters from June 5-10. The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. Democrats and some independent analysts have noted that the poll has a particularly high share of whites without college degrees, 45 percent, nearly twice their share of the electorate in the last midterm campaign in 2010, according to exit polls. Given that, Udall's positive ratings are another positive sign for his campaign, which still hasn't drawn a Republican challenger despite the GOP's insistence that Udall is vulnerable.
Obama's disapproval rating of 54 percent far outstripped his 43 percent approval rating in the poll, and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie led in potential 2016 presidential matchups versus two Democrats: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also led Biden and tied Clinton in the ballot test.
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