DENVER – Another poll of likely 2020 voters in Colorado shows that Republicans have much ground to make up if they hope to reverse the course of the 2018 midterm election, when Democrats swept statewide races and re-took the state Senate.
The poll results released Thursday by Republican polling firm Magellan Strategies is the second in two months to show that Republicans are likely to see the lowest turnout among the three main voting groups in Colorado, that Gov. Jared Polis is popular in Colorado and that President Donald Trump’s job approval rating is far underwater here in the Centennial State.
The Magellan Strategies poll was conducted via landline and cell phone interviews and surveyed 500 likely 2020 voters between July 15 and 17. The results were weighted to past general election turnout demographics and the margin of error is ±4.4%.
Pollster David Flaherty, Ryan Winger and the Magellan team said the results show that unaffiliated voters will account for 37% of turnout next November, Democrats will account for 33% of turnout and Republicans will account for 30% of turnout.
The pollsters said that is because unaffiliated turnout is expected to continue growing while Republican turnout is expected to continue to drop.
This is not meant to be a suggestion that Republican turnout will be lagging, or depressed in any way,” the pollsters wrote in a release. “It is simply because we expect unaffiliated turnout to rise and that will come at the expense of Republicans.”
The pollsters also expect turnout for the 18-34 age group to grow to 27% of turnout, up from 25% in 2016.
The rest of the poll's results mirror results from a poll done by Democratic-leaning pollsters Keating Research and OnSight Public Affairs which was released in early June.
Trump had a -14% favorability rating in that poll and has a -18% approval rating in the latest Magellan poll, with 57% of respondents saying they disapprove of the job he is doing as president and 39% approving.
Polis has a +12% approval rating in the Magellan poll, with 49% of respondents approving of the job he is doing as governor and 37% disapproving. The Keating/OnSight poll found 50% viewing Polis favorably compared to 35% viewing him unfavorably.
But those surveyed were nearly split as to whether he and the Democrat-held legislature overreached this session, with 45% saying the Democrats did overreach, 40% saying they didn’t and 15% saying there were unsure.
Despite that, however, 47% of the people surveyed by Magellan said they opposed the efforts to recall Polis , compared to 38% who support recalling him. Proponents of the Polis recall effort have until Sept. 6 to gather more than 630,000 valid voter signatures.
Forty-four percent of respondents said they believe Colorado is headed in the right direction, compared to 41% who feel it is heading in the wrong direction.
But the splits for 2020 are not friendly for Colorado Republicans hoping to reverse the course of 2018, according to the poll.
Along with Trump’s disapproval rating, 47% of those polled said they want Democrats to control Congress after the 2020 elections, compared to 37% who want Republicans to be in control.
Younger people aged 18-44 were far more likely to hope for a Democrat-held Congress, with 54% of that group saying that was the case. Forty-four percent of respondents aged 45-64 said they hoped for a Republican-held Congress, compared to 38% of that age group wanting Democrats in control.
President Trump’s approval rating is underwater in every one of Colorado’s congressional districts except for CD3, which is represented by Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican. Trump’s approval rating is even underwater (43% approve, 51% disapprove) in the Republican stronghold of CD5, represented by Rep. Doug Lamborn.
The Magellan poll found that 44% of respondents would support a generic Democratic candidate over Trump (32%), some other candidate (15%) or undecided (8%). One-quarter of respondents said they would “definitely” vote for Trump next year. Forty-one percent of unaffiliated voters said they would support a generic Democrat over Trump (24%) or anyone else.
“Interestingly, women, younger voters and unaffiliated voters are also the most likely to choose some other candidate, which suggests that the ballot test could actually look worse for the president if those voters eventually choose between the two major party candidates,” Winger wrote in Magellan’s analysis.
The pollsters said it will be important to watch how the “overreach” issue could affect the mindset of voters heading into next year and how Trump’s negative approval rating might change – either by getting worse or improving – and how that affects down-ballot Republicans.
More than 10 Democrats have already lined up to compete for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination to face Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., in 2020. Gardner is thought to be one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans up for re-election next year.
And the Magellan team was blunt in its summation of the latest poll.
“Needless to say there is not a lot of good news here for President Trump’s prospects in Colorado,” they wrote.