Colorado State of the State

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, front, chats with Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold as they wait for governor Jared Polis to make his first State of the State address to a joint session of the Colorado Legislature on Jan. 10, 2019, in Denver. 

A new poll gives former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Secretary of State Jena Griswold the edge in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Oddly enough, Griswold isn't even in the race; she was sworn in as secretary of state — her first elected office — in January. The poll was paid for by Next Senate PAC, whose donors backed Griswold last year.

"As the lone person in the poll to have run and won a statewide contest, it's easy to see why Griswold's name continues to be floated as a potential candidate," OnSight's Curtis Hubbard said in a statement.

Coming in third, in a bit of a surprise, was former state Sen. Mike Johnston, a money-raising leader who ran for governor just last year.

"The campaign continues to be overwhelmed by the grassroots support for Mike across Colorado, in all 64 counties," said campaign spokesperson Rachel Petri. "It proves Mike's message of taking on the hardest problems like the climate crisis, immigration and health care is resonating with Coloradans who are ready to join him in ousting Cory Gardner and standing up to Donald Trump."

RELATED: Democratic US Senate candidate Mike Johnston raises $1.6M for quarter

The survey of 500 likely 2020 primary voters gave Romanoff the lead 23% support, followed by Griswold with 15% and Johnston with 12%. No other candidate got more than 2%, a mark hit by Dan Baer, Alice Madden and John Walsh.

Romanoff's team sent out a press release Tuesday morning to tout the poll.

“This confirms what we’ve heard all across the state: that a grassroots progressive champion is best positioned to win the nomination and defeat Cory Gardner,” campaign chair Tara Trujillo said in a statement.

She added, “This is a long campaign, and we will continue working as hard as we can to earn the support of every Coloradan.”

A growing list of almost a dozen Democrats are facing off for the chance to take on Republican Sen. Cory Gardner next year. Gardner is viewed as highly vulnerable running on the same side of the ticket as President Trump, who lost in Colorado to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Neither Republican is polling well.

None of the numbers in the poll by Denver-based Keating Research and OnSight Public Affairs were overwhelming, given the early state and large field. Onsight characterized the race as "wide open."

More information about the poll is available by clicking here.

According to the Federal Elections Commission documents, Next Senate PAC includes Griswold supporters like former Colorado Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler, who contributed $2,000 of the PAC's $27,500 as of its June 30 filing. Tim Howard of Superior gave $500, among other previous Griswold supporters.

"Griswold has pledged to only work for the people of the state of Colorado during her tenure," Howard wrote in a letter to the Boulder Daily Camera last year. "We need a leader who is committed to ensuring that each vote is counted, that each voice is heard. That leader is Jena Griswold."

Among voters ages 50 and older, Romanoff's support in the poll stood at 29%, with Griswold at 12% and Johnston at 11%.

Griswold did better with ages 18 to 49, with 20% support. Johnston rose to 15% and Romanoff fell to 11%.

Not surprisingly, nearly a year out from voting, 42% told pollsters they were undecided.

The survey was conducted July 1-3 -- before state Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver, announced she was entering the race -- and carries a margin of error of 4.4%.

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