Democratic poll shows Hickenlooper, Udall statistically tied with GOP challengers
DENVER — A survey last week from Quinnipiac University showing Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper just one point ahead of Republican Bob Beauprez, the first poll showing Colorado’s governor’s race to be so close, was brushed off as an outlier.
But a new poll released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling — a reliably Democratic-leaning outfit — shows that it may not be.
In the PPP survey, Hickenlooper only leads Beauprez by a 44-43 percent margin, well within the poll’s margin of error.
It confirms that the race his tightened significantly since Beauprez’s victory in the June 24 gubernatorial primary and since Hickenlooper dredged up the issue of gun control, appearing apologetic and seriously conflicted about passing tougher gun laws during a June 13 meeting with a group of Colorado sheriffs.
In March, Hickenlooper lead Beauprez in what was then a hypothetical match-up by a 48-38 percent margin.
“Since that time though Hickenlooper’s approval rating has dropped a net 10 points, from 48/41 then to now 43/46,” said PPP’s Tom Jensen. “And Beauprez’s net favorability has improved 14 points from 20/33 then to now 31/30. That movement’s come largely among Republicans- he’s gone from 33/22 to 57/12 within his own party as it’s unified in the wake of last month’s primary.”
PPP also surveyed voters in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race and found Democratic Sen. Mark Udall with 44 percent, just a point ahead of Republican Congressman Cory Gardner, who’s tracking at 43 percent.
“The closeness in the Senate race is nothing new though,” Jensen said. “Our last four polls have found Udall with leads of 2, 2, 4, and now 1 point.
“This is shaping up as yet another key Senate contest this year where the early blitz of negative advertising has left both candidates unpopular. Udall has an upside down approval rating at 36/47, but Gardner’s not a whole lot more well liked with 34 percent of voters rating him favorably to 39 percent who have a negative opinion.”
The poll shows the 2014 climate favors Republicans, who have a 45/38 advantage on a generic legislative ballot — although Democrats have a nine-seat majority in the statehouse, Republicans need to gain just one seat to flip control of the state senate.
And in down-ballot statewide races, Republicans hold leads of 8-10 points.
Wayne Williams leads Joe Neguse by a 35-27 percent margin for Secretary of State,; Cynthia Coffman has a 38-29 advantage over Don Quick for Attorney General; and Walker Stapleton leads Betsy Markey for State Treasurer by a 43-33 margin.
“The high level of undecideds in all of those races leaves the Democrats with room to grow but for now the GOP candidates are very well positioned,” Jensen saidAlertMe