Poll: Hickenlooper, Udall in good shape for 2014

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Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall are statistically tied with their Republican challengers according to a new poll from PPP, a Democrat-leaning firm.

DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall, both Democrats, appear to be in good shape heading into next year’s reelection battles, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The survey from Public Policy Polling, which is considered a left-leaning firm, has Hickenlooper’s statewide approval rating at 53 percent less than a month after the signing of two controversial gun control bills.

That’s down slightly from PPP’s last survey, which had Hickenlooper, considered one of the country’s “most popular” governors, at 55 percent.

Notably, Hickenlooper’s disapproval ratings have jumped significantly from 26 percent last November to 44 percent.

Udall’s statewide approval rating is 50 percent.

Neither Democrat has a declared opponent at this point.

PPP polled eight Republicans who might decide to oppose Hickenlooper or Udall: former Congressman Bob Beauprez, Congressman Cory Gardner, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, 2010 Senate candidate Jane Norton, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Attorney General John Suthers, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, and Congressman Scott Tipton.

None of them measured up favorably.

“Not a single one of the Republicans we tested has a positive statewide favorability rating,” the polling memo states. “The one who comes closest is Suthers, who still has a -6 favorability rating. In addition to being unliked the GOP bench is also largely unknown- the only one with higher than 52% name recognition is Tancredo.”

It’s possible that none of those candidates enter the two big 2014 statewide races, leaving the field open to lesser known — and less well defined — Republican candidates.

Colorado Republicans haven’t won a big statewide race since 2002.

“Obviously it’s early and a lot could happen between now and next November but at least for now it looks like Democrats’ long winning streak in major statewide Colorado races is likely to continue,” PPP’s polling memo concludes.

Udall is amassing a solid campaign war chest with over $2.5 million cash on hand after raising $1.6 million in the first quarter of the year.

Hickenlooper has yet to officially announce he’s running for a second term.