Poll: Hickenlooper’s rating rises slightly

DENVER — A new poll released Wednesday shows that a slight majority of Coloradans like the job Gov. John Hickenlooper is doing, and the Democrat would win re-election against any of the major Republican candidates who are seeking to challenge him.

In a survey of 1,139 registered voters in the state, the Quinnipiac University poll showed that 52 percent to 39 percent of Coloradans approve of how Hickenlooper is handling his job.

The poll also shows the first-term governor leads by as much as 10 percentage points over the four major GOP candidates who are vying to run against him.

The poll, however, also shows that voters are divided on whether he deserves four more years in office.

“His team may have tanked in the Super Bowl, but Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper gets a bit of good news in improving approval job numbers as no serious challenge to his re-election has been mounted yet,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Voters are divided on whether they want to give Governor Hickenlooper four more years, but they aren’t rallying around any potential challengers.”

Currently, there are six Republican candidates vying for the GOP nomination for governor: Former congressman Tom Tancredo, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, state Sen. Greg Brophy, former state Sen. Mike Kopp, Brighton resident Steven House and Meeker resident Jim Rundberg.

The poll shows that if Tancredo wins the GOP nomination, Hickenlooper would defeat him 48-39 percent. If Gessler wins, the governor still beats him 46-40 percent. He similarly holds a 9 percentage and 10 percentage point lead over Kopp and Brophy, respectively.

Despite all that mostly good news for the governor, Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call focused on the bad news in it.

“These numbers shouldn’t give anyone in the governor’s camp cause for celebration,” Call said. “It’s an underwhelming performance that continues to reflect voters’ disapproval of the governor’s divisive agenda and lack of leadership.”

Ryan said Hickenlooper was only given a 47 percent favorability rating, but ignores the rating for Tancredo, who is considered the frontrunner in his party. He posted a 25 percent favorability rating.

The poll also showed that 52 percent of voters approved of the controversial new gun-control laws approved by the Legislature last year and signed off on by Hickenlooper. It showed that 86 percent of voters approve of background checks on all gun purchases, but are virtually divided — 50 percent to 47 percent — over a ban on high-capacity gun magazines.

Voters disagree with the governor over the death penalty. There, 66 percent of voters say it should be continued.

The governor has questioned continuing the death penalty, and even delayed the execution of Chuck E. Cheese restaurant murderer Nathan Dunlap.

The poll was conducted over the weekend using landline and cell phones, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.


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