Bremer Bennet

Republican Eli Bremer, left, and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat

Internal polling released Tuesday by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer's campaign shows President Joe Biden and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet underwater with Colorado voters 13 months before the 2022 election, leading Bremer's pollster to suggest the state's Senate race could be more competitive than forecasters have predicted.

Bremer, a first-time candidate and former Olympic athlete, trails Bennet 40% to 32%, according to an automated survey conducted Sept. 9-12 among likely voters by GOP pollster co/efficient, the Missouri-based firm's president, Ryan Munce, said in a memo obtained by Colorado Politics.

The survey found 22% of all voters undecided in the head-to-head contest, with the share of undecided voters increasing to 36% among unaffiliated voters, Munce said.

A generic Democratic Senate candidate would face a close race against a generic Republican candidate, the pollster found, with 44% favoring the Democrat and 42% picking the Republican.

Biden, who won Colorado's electoral votes last year by a 13-point margin over then-President Donald Trump, faces an upside-down job approval rating in the state, with 45% approving and 52% disapproving. Bennet is viewed favorably by 34% of state voters and unfavorably by 35%, the pollster found.

“The reality on the ground in Colorado is that the recently launched campaign of Eli Bremer is within striking distance of an incumbent with lackluster support, and the Democrat brand, in Colorado, as it is across the country, is rapidly losing value among independent voters," Munce said in a statement.

A spokesman for Bennet's campaign declined to comment.

The results mark a sharp decline in popularity for both Democrats compared to polling conducted in late June by Denver-based Democratic firm Global Strategy Group, which found Biden viewed favorably by 55% and unfavorably by 42%, with Bennet winning favorable ratings from 46% and unfavorable from 29%.

While the methodologies differ, making it difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison, Bennet bested a generic Republican candidate 48% to 40% in the earlier poll, with just 12% saying they were undecided or refusing to answer.

There's scant public polling available in the race, in part because Bennet, who is seeking a third term in next year's election, has yet to draw a challenger who has held elected office or is well-known statewide. Election forecasters have uniformly pegged the Colorado Senate seat as likely to stay in Democratic hands.

The poll released this week by Bremer's campaign surveyed 742 voters using text responses for voters with mobile phones and automated interviews for those with landlines. A spokesman for Bremer's campaign declined to release cross-tabs for the poll but said the poll's partisan distribution reflected Colorado turnout in a midterm, with 36% Democrats, 33% Republicans, 26% unaffiliated voters and 4% belonging to a minor party.

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