Mark Udall, Cory Gardner each lead in 2 separate polls in U.S. Senate race in Colorado

DENVER - Two new polls paint two different pictures of the critical Colorado Senate race.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday shows Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner two points ahead of Democratic Sen Mark Udall. That's technically a tie because it's within the poll's margin of error, but it's an improvement for Gardner over his showings in prior editions of the poll.

An NBC/Marist poll released Tuesday showed Udall ahead of Gardner by seven points.

Both polls are of registered voters rather than the more conservative electorate expected to vote in November. But Colorado Democrats have tended to do better on Election Day than public polls have predicted.

Many political experts believe the winner of the Udall-Gardner race will triumph by only one or two percentage points.

Earlier this week, Udall announced that his campaign raised $3.1 million in the second quarter of the year. Gardner announced that his campaign raised $2.7 million. He only entered the race in late February.

Three other candidates have petitioned to get on the ballot in the Senate race -- Bill Hammons (Unity Party), Steve Shogan (unaffiliated) and Raúl Acosta (unaffiliated).

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