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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 HickenlooperModerates vow to 'be a force' under Biden Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE's (D) effort to unseat incumbent Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs denounce Capitol attack | Contractors halt donations after siege | 'QAnon Shaman' at Capitol is Navy vet Lobbying world Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes 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 TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency 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 McConnellSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses McConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Budowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit 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 BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE holds an average lead of 11.4 percentage points over Trump, according to polls conducted in Colorado since late July.