Nonpartisan election forecaster moves Colorado Senate race to 'leans Democratic'

Nonpartisan election forecaster moves Colorado Senate race to 'leans Democratic'
© Aaron Schwartz

The nonpartisan election forecaster Sabato’s Crystal Ball shifted its rating of the Colorado Senate race to “leans Democratic” from a “toss-up” on Thursday. 

The rating switch comes as recent polling has shown Colorado voters are more disapproving of Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerRomney says he tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in quarantine Senate GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Markets expected to plunge amid partisan squabbling MORE (R-Colo.) than they are of President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE

Sabato’s Crystal Ball cited polling in the state, noting polls in Colorado have been sparse and that the GOP senator is in a tough spot, risking losing some of his own base voters if he criticizes Trump. 

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Just 37 percent of Colorado voters approve of Gardner, and 48 percent said they disapprove of him, according to a poll from Global Strategy Group conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4. 

The same poll found 44 percent of Colorado voters approve of Trump and 56 percent disapprove of the president. 

Trump’s approval was also stronger than Gardner's among “very conservative” and “not very conservative” Republicans, though both men had the overwhelming support from this group, according to the poll which surveyed 818 registered voters. 

Only 1 percent of “very conservative” Republicans disapprove of Trump, but 16 percent of those "very conservative" Republicans said they disapprove of the senator. 

The poll was conducted by a combination of text-to-web methodology with voters chosen at random from the voter file and respondents recruited from opt-in online vendors.

Colorado is one of several Senate seats Democrats are looking to flip in November in an attempt to win control of the upper chamber. 

Democrats will choose a nominee in a March 3 primary. Among those running is former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperSenate GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads Poll shows Daines, Bullock neck and neck in Montana Senate race Progressive challenger: How we overcame Chuck Schumer meddling MORE who announced his Senate bid after ending his short-lived presidential campaign.