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 HickenlooperPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Ohio GOP congressman tests positive for COVID-19 Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district MORE's (D) effort to unseat incumbent Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerColorado remap plan creates new competitive district Protecting the outdoors: Three cheers for America's best idea Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm 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 TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' 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 McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats 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 BidenRand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Dems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Six big off-year elections you might be missing MORE holds an average lead of 11.4 percentage points over Trump, according to polls conducted in Colorado since late July.