DENVER — The Republican candidates with the highest name ID are polling ahead of their primary rivals in the race for the party’s nominations for governor and U.S. Senate, a new poll confirms Thursday.
Both candidates were on the 2010 statewide ballot — and lost.
Tom Tancredo, who launched a late third party bid for governor three years ago, leads the Republican field of 2014 gubernatorial hopefuls with 34 percent support.
That’s more than double the total of his closest rival, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who polls at 15 percent, and state Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, who polls at 9 percent.
Former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, who’s been out of politics for a few years, is lumped into the poll’s “others” category, which garners 3 percent support.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who’s seen his political stock dip a bit after a tumultuous year at the Capitol, still beats Tancredo by a 48-40 percent margin in the survey from Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm based in Virginia that polls frequently in Colorado.
It’s the same story in the race to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat seeking a second six-year term.
Ken Buck, the Weld County District Attorney who lost his 2010 race against Sen. Michael Bennet after a series of controversial statements in the final weeks of his campaign that eroded his support with suburban women, is by far the favorite of GOP primary voters at the moment to take another shot at the Senate.
Buck gets 45 percent support in the PPP poll.
State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, gets 8 percent of the vote and state Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument, gets 7 percent.
State Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, a first-year lawmaker, is lumped into the “others” category, which receives 2 percent.
Udall would beat Buck 46-42 percent, according to the poll; he has larger margins of victory over Stephens, Baumgardner and Hill.
“The rough last couple of months have certainly put John Hickenlooper and Mark Udall in a position where they could be vulnerable next year,” said PPP’s Dean Debnam.
“It’s just not clear whether the GOP is going to put forth candidates who can take advantage of that vulnerability.”