By: Anna Staver
Who is leading the race for Colorado’s most competitive seat in the U.S. House of Representatives depends on whom you ask.
Democrat Jason Crow is either significantly ahead or in a dead heat with Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, according to two new polls of voters conducted in mid-September in the 6th Congressional District. Money is another indicator of a candidate’s chances, and by that measure national Republican groups appear split about whether Coffman’s number has finally come up.
One poll, released Monday by End Citizens United, a left-leaning PAC, shows Crow leading 49 to 38 percent — outside the 4.9 percent margin of error. The 11-point spread is the same gap found in an earlier New York Times poll.
But another new poll, released to The Denver Post by the Coffman campaign, puts Crow ahead by just 1 percentage point — 46 percent to 45 percent — making the race essentially a tossup with 9 percent of voters still undecided. That poll, which comes from the right-leaning Tarrance Group, also has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
That means Crow could be up by 16 or down by 5 percentage points.
Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee told Politico it would spend $600,000 more on TV ads in the district — hours after a conservative super PAC withdrew $1 million in 6th Congressional District ad spending.
The National Association of Realtors and a nonprofit called No Labels have also dropped about $1.6 million into the race on Coffman’s behalf.
“I feel like that’s fairly common,” said Cinnamon Watson, who worked for the Coffman campaign in 2014 and 2016. “Historically that’s the kind of noise you always hear. It’s a tough district.”
Coffman has held his seat in the past by convincing nearly one in five people who vote Democratic in other races to also vote for him. The suburban Denver district has picked the Republican while supporting Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, former President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
This time around, the Tarrance Group poll shows Coffman getting votes from 4 percent of registered Democrats and 35 percent of people who registered as unaffiliated. Crow, on the other hand, is favored by 8 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of unaffiliated voters in the district, according to the poll.
That’s completely different from the results the Normington Petts poll showed for unaffiliated voters.
Pollsters for End Citizens United compared their July results with those from September and found “Crow moved from trailing 35 to 39 percent among Independents to leading 44 to 27 percent.”