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Polls: Coors slightly ahead in Colo. Senate race

Polls show the Senate race in Colorado is still tight, but Republican Pete Coors may have pulled slightly ahead of Democrat Ken Salazar.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Polls show Republican Pete Coors has pulled even with or even slightly ahead of Democrat Ken Salazar, but the closely watched race for Colorado's open Senate seat is still a tight one.

A poll published Tuesday by the Rocky Mountain News shows Coors leading Salazar 45 percent to 40 percent. The lead equals the poll's 5 percentage point margin of error, meaning Coors is slightly ahead.

Six percent said they were undecided, 6 percent said they supported third-party candidates and the rest didn't respond.

Meanwhile, a USA Today-CNN-Gallup poll conducted Friday through Sunday found the race even, with 49 percent supporting Salazar and 48 percent backing Coors. Three percent had no opinion or chose other. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.

A similar poll by Gallup taken Oct. 3-6 had given Salazar a big edge, 54 percent to 43 percent.

The Rocky Mountain News-KCNC-TV poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies last Wednesday through Friday, questioned 400 people who said they are likely to vote.

Salazar had a 10-point lead over Coors in last month's poll, which had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

"The Republicans have come home," pollster Lori Weigel said. The largest group of undecided voters polled was suburban women, Weigel said, and they will likely determine who wins.

Coors and Salazar are seeking the seat being given up by GOP Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who is retiring after two terms because of health concerns. The race is already the most expensive in Colorado history and has drawn national attention as the GOP tries to expand its 51-48 edge in the Senate on Nov. 2.

Last week, President Bush made a two-day swing through Colorado to stump for Coors, the chairman of his family's brewing empire and a political neophyte. Meanwhile, Salazar, the state's attorney general, is scheduled to appear in public for the first time with Sen. John Kerry at a rally in Pueblo on Saturday.