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Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted the Colorado Senate race from "toss-up" to "lean Democratic," a positive sign for former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Democratic super PAC pulls remaining ads from Colorado Senate race MORE's (D) effort to unseat incumbent Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Trump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in MORE (R) in November.  

The shift by the independent online newsletter comes after Gardner said on Monday that he will not oppose taking up President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE's Supreme Court nominee to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat this year. A number of GOP senators viewed as swing votes have fallen in line behind Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Battle for Senate 'a 50-50 proposition' 'Packing' federal courts is already a serious problem What a Biden administration should look like MORE (R-Ky.) in pushing to fill the seat ahead of Election Day, a move that has drawn the ire of Democrats. 

While polling has been scarce in the race, Hickenlooper has led Gardner in most recent polls. The former governor led the senator, 52 percent to 42 percent, according to a poll released earlier this month from the Democratic firm, Global Strategy Group.

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On the fundraising front, Hickenlooper brought in $5.2 million in the second quarter of 2020, while Gardner raised $3.62 million. 

Gardner's election fate will likely be tied to Trump's in Colorado, which a Republican presidential candidate has not won since 2004. Trump lost the state in 2016 by 4.9 percentage points. 

Democrats have sought to tie Gardner to Trump's low approval rating in the state. Trump's average approval rating in Colorado sits at 40 percent and his average disapproval rating is at 56 percent, according to the Colorado Sun's poll tracker.

The tracker also found that Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE holds an average lead of 11.4 percentage points over Trump, according to polls conducted in Colorado since late July.