POLITICS
07/15/2014 10:25 am ET | Updated Jul 15, 2014

New Poll Finds Democrats Ahead In Michigan, Colorado Senate Races

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrats have a slim advantage in their quest to hold onto two Senate seats in Michigan and Colorado, an NBC/Marist poll released Tuesday finds.

“The early edge goes to the Democrats,” Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told NBC. “But these are not states they can put into their win column just yet.”

In the race to succeed retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) leads GOP candidate and former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land by 6 percentage points, 43 percent to 37 percent. In Colorado, incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D) leads Rep. Cory Gardner (R) by 7 points, 48 percent to 41 percent.

Both Democratic candidates are helped by double-digit leads among female voters. Udall also leads by more than 30 points among Colorado's Latino population, which accounts for about 16 percent of the state's voters.

NBC's Mark Murray and Carrie Dann write that Michigan and Colorado are among the blue states at play in the November elections. While Republicans likely don't need either state to take over the Senate, winning them could mean a wave election for the GOP.

The latest Michigan results are in line with most other polling on the race: Every survey taken since May, including polling from both sides, has given Peters a lead of 3 to 9 points. HuffPost Pollster's polling model, which includes all publicly available surveys, puts Peters 5 points ahead.

There's relatively scant independent polling data to compare in Colorado, where most of the surveys this year have been automated phone polls, often on behalf of partisan clients. The newest results are better for Udall than three robopolls conducted since May (which, unlike NBC/Marist, attempted to screen for voters likely to turn out in November). Those ranged from a Democrat-sponsored survey that put Udall 4 points ahead to a Republican one that gave Gardner a 2-point lead. HuffPost Pollster's model gives Udall a lead of just less than 3 points.

NBC/Marist also polled gubernatorial races, finding Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) taking 46 percent to Democratic former Rep. Mark Schauer's 44 percent -- an outcome within the margin of error -- and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) leading former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R), 49 percent to 43 percent.

Evident in both states was the same sense of widespread political dissatisfaction that's apparent nationwide, with President Barack Obama's approval rating at just 40 percent and majorities disapproving of the Affordable Care Act. There was little enthusiasm for the GOP either: Just 19 percent in Michigan and 21 percent in Colorado said Republicans in Congress were doing a good job.

The NBC/Marist poll surveyed 914 registered voters in Colorado and 870 registered voters in Michigan from July 7 to 10.

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