**Update: Buck’s campaign responds:
“This poll is further evidence that Coloradans are responding positively to Ken’s message of reining in spending and creating jobs,” said Buck campaign manager John Swartout. “These polls also show that people are sick and tired of Bennet’s dishonest smear campaign against Ken Buck.”
The Rasmussen poll comes just a day after Fox News released a poll showing Buck leading Bennet outside the margin of error.
“The numbers are encouraging. Ken has held a consistent lead since winning the primary. The fact that Bennet can’t break 45 percent in any public poll is a sign that Coloradans are ready for a Senator who will listen to them, not the special interests,” said Swartout. ”Don’t be surprised to see more desperate attacks from Bennet and his desperate campaign.”
Rasmussen moves the race between Ken Buck and Sen. Michael Bennet from “Toss-Up” to “Leans GOP”:
For the first time, Republican challenger Ken Buck now captures more than 50% of the vote in his U.S. Senate bid against Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet in Colorado.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Colorado shows Buck with 51% support, while Bennet earns 43% of the vote with leaners included. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
These findings move the race from a Toss-Up to Leans GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings. Two weeks ago, Buck held a 49% to 45% lead when leaners were part of the totals.
The candidates have now held two debates. Buck, a conservative county prosecutor, has led consistently in the race with support ranging from 44% in March to 49% earlier this month. Bennet, the Denver school superintendent appointed to the Senate last year when Ken Salazar joined President Obama’s Cabinet, has earned 38% to 45% support in that same period.
The survey of 750 Likely Voters was conducted September 27, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Other results were not available, except to paid subscribers.