New PPP surveys in North Carolina and Colorado find a toss up race between Cheri Beasley and Ted Budd, while Michael Bennet has a double digit lead for re-election.
In North Carolina Beasley is at 42% to 41% for Budd. The race is close despite Beasley having a net favorability rating 16 points better than Budd’s. Beasley is at +10 (40/30) while Budd is at -6 (34/40).
There’s a particularly large gap when it comes to how much enthusiasm each of their party bases has for them. While Beasley is at 80/3 with Biden voters, Budd is at only 54/19 with Trump voters. North Carolina Senate races in recent years have broken toward the GOP at the end because of superior turnout on their side- it will be interesting to see if Democrats liking Beasley so much more than Republicans like Budd will bring any change to that trend this year.
In Colorado Michael Bennet leads Joe O’Dea 46-35. 46% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 37% who disapprove. Meanwhile O’Dea hasn’t made much of a mark with voters yet- a 44% plurality have no opinion of him one way or the other with 27% rating him favorably and 29% unfavorably.
One of the biggest stories of the 2022 election cycle is the weakness of the Republican Senate candidate pool and we see that reflected in both of these states. Only 50% of Trump voters like O’Dea and the Libertarian candidate is getting 7%. Only 54% of Trump voters like Budd and the Libertarian candidate is getting 5%. The sorts of stances and rhetoric O’Dea and Budd might need to adopt to win over their bases could turn off voters in the center, or vice versa. It’s a hard needle for them to thread.
Since the Dobbs decision came down in June both our polling and the results of special elections have suggested that we are in a political climate…somewhat similar to 2020. This set of surveys reinforces that. North Carolina’s Senate race was a complete toss up two years ago, and it is again this time. Colorado’s Senate race was right around a 10 point Democratic win two years ago, and it is again this time.
The 2020 results were sort of a mixed bag. Joe Biden won but it was extremely close in the most important states. Democrats won the Senate but with a smaller majority than hoped for or expected. Republicans gained seats in the House and in legislative chambers across the country. It was a pretty neutral election cycle overall and it seems like this one might be too- which is a far better outcome than Democrats could have hoped for three months ago.
The Colorado poll interviewed 782 voters on August 30th and 31st with a margin of error of +/-3.5%. Full results here
The North Carolina poll interviewed 601 voters on August 29th and 30th with a margin of error of +/-4.0%. Full results here