DENVER -- Two polls released Wednesday showed conflicting results in the gubernatorial race between Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beauprez less than seven weeks before Election Day.
In a stunning reversal from previous polling, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning showed Beauprez with a 10-point lead over Hickenlooper among likely voters, 50 percent to 40 percent.
In July, Quinnipiac had the race tied.
But early Wednesday afternoon, a USA Today/Suffolk University poll found Hickenlooper leading Beauprez, 43 percent to 41 percent, well within the poll's margin of error of 4.4 percent.
In the Quinnipiac poll, 77 percent of likely voters said their mind is made up, but 22 percent said they could change their mind in the next seven weeks.
"Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is behind the challenger on the key qualities voters want in a leader: honesty, caring and leadership,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “Pundits were predicting that Gov. Hickenlooper faced a close race for re-election. Instead, he’s got a mad dash to make up a double-digit deficit. The Democrat does not get the traditional strong support from women to offset Bob Beauprez’s army of support from men.”
Among women, Beauprez leads 47 percent to 46 percent, while men back the Republican 54 percent to 34 percent, and independents favor Beauprez 50 percent to 37 percent.
The poll surveyed 1,211 likely voters from Sept. 10-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.
"Claudia and I are grateful for the support we're getting from people across Colorado and this poll simply confirms what we're hearing on the ground -- voters want a strong leader with character who'll stand up for Colorado and make the tough decisions to help our state," Beauprez said in a statement before the release of the USA Today/Suffolk University poll. "Our state desperately needs stronger leadership and with 48 days left to go, we are not going to let this or any other poll distract us from getting the job done and giving Colorado the leadership it deserves. We are going to run like we're behind."
"There are a few outlier polls every cycle and that's what this is," Hickenlooper campaign spokesman Eddie Stern said before the USA Today/Suffolk University poll was released. "As Politico reports today, no one really believes this poll. Other polls show the Governor with a lead, which is probably why the Republican Governors Association cut off the Congressman's campaign as a bad investment."
The USA Today/Suffolk University poll, taken Sept. 12-16, showed Sen. Mark Udall and his Republican challenger, Cory Gardner, neck-and-neck in their race, with Gardner at 43 percent and Udall at 42 percent, well within the poll's margin of error.
The poll also showed most of those surveyed aren't satisfied with President Barack Obama's job performance, disapproving of it 56 percent to 42 percent, and by 37 percent to 19 percent, those surveyed said their vote for Congress is a vote against Obama.