PPP: Hillary Bests Hickenlooper in 2016, Gun Safety Still Popular

Lots of interesting poll results from Public Policy Polling today, the second half of their recent survey work in Colorado. PPP is generally considered a Democratic-leaning firm, but their performance in recent elections has been quite good. A study by Fordham University rated PPP the most accurate pollster nationally of the 2012 elections. From today's memo on a number of questions, two standouts: lackluster support for a presidential run in 2016 by Gov. John Hickenlooper, and resilient popularity of gun safety bills passed by the legislature.

Although he is a strong favorite for reelection as Governor next year, there's not a lot of enthusiasm in Colorado for a 2016 John Hickenlooper Presidential bid. Only 21% of voters in the state think he should run to 65% who think he should not, and even among Democrats just 30% would like to see him run with 48% dissenting. Hickenlooper does hold a narrow 47/45 advantage over Rand Paul and Marco Rubio in hypothetical match ups. But even without the benefit of home state advantage Hillary Clinton does slightly better than Hickenlooper in the state, leading Paul 48/45 and Rubio 48/44…

Coloradans support stronger gun laws in general (49/44) and an assault weapons ban in particular (49/45). Latinos, who Republicans need to be more competitive with if they're going to win key statewide races in Colorado, support stronger gun laws by a 59/32 margin. We didn't bother testing support for background checks in the state given the overwhelming support for them everywhere.

“Republicans are looking for a path forward after losing 6 elections in a row for President, Governor, and the Senate in Colorado,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But being on the wrong side of public opinion about hot button issues like gun control and gay marriage isn’t going to get them out of the wilderness.”

We're not surprised to see soft support for a run for President by Hickenlooper, and we wouldn't necessarily count it all as sentiment against him. As PPP's earlier released polling showed, Hickenlooper's unfavorable rating has shot up in the last year as he has been compelled to engage on issues with negatives on both sides of the political spectrum–upsetting conservatives on gun safety and liberals with his questionable support for oil and gas drilling. Despite that, Hickenlooper is still well above water in terms of favorability, and Republicans have no candidate in Hickenlooper's league with which to challenge him. There are a host of reasons why Hickenlooper may not be viewed as the best presidential candidate in 2016, but none of them look to be a threat to his re-election in 2014.

For Republicans, the enduring popularity of gun safety bills passed this year is nothing short of disastrous. After having put all of their messaging eggs in this basket this legislative session, the fact that gun safety retains this much support even after Republicans threw the kitchen sink at Democrats portends a very bleak 2014 for them. Not only have they failed to be persuasive, further credibility damage awaits them when those bills take effect in a few weeks–and the outlandish consequences Republicans warned of fail to materialize.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. cholera doob servercholera doob server says:

    Republicans would do well not to scoff this poll off just because it was done by PPP (see their response to last poll they released showing a terrible start for their Senate and Gubernatorial candidates in the last one.)

    Ultimately, this isn't a completely terrible poll for them, most of their results have them losing by outside the margin of error, and Scott Gessler isn't nearly as widely despised as he is among Dem insiders.

    But look at the crosstabs to see how people self-IDing as moderates respond. They prefer the Dem candidates and issues that Dems support by wide margins. At the same time, the conervative and very conservative responses show that there is a huge discrepancy with what moderate voters support, and what the GOP base supports.

    Or, in short: for the Colorado GOP, it's SSDD.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      A giant problem for the GOP is they only talk to each other and in so doing convince themselves that 80% of Colorado agrees with them. And when you think that 80% of the voters agree with you, then your only problem is you're not presenting your message well enough.

      And people tend to ignore facts they don't like. (All people, not just conservatives.) So discount the polls as liberal propaganda, reinforce with each other what you want to hear, and continue on with the same approach.

  2. nancycronknancycronk says:

    Thanks for this. Hickenlooper is a disaster for the environment, and any candidate coming from Colorado would need environmentalists on his side. Udall could probably pull it off (getting environmentalists to support him), despite his tepid stance on fracking. I'm glad Hillary is in the best position for the job. I'm sick and tired of working for candidates who don't share my gender, and after 237 years, it's about freakin' time the majority of all Americans had someone of their own gender represent them, too.

    • Theo says:

      Well said, Nancy.

      I'm a Democrat who has voted for Hickenlooper for Mayor and Govenlooper.  I'm underwhelmed with him, but would vote for him over wahtever yahoo the GOP puts up this time.  But I certainly can't see him as President.  Like ever.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      I'm sick and tired of working for candidates who don't represent my profession, and after 237 years, it's aboutfreaking time that Americans had a programmer represent them. So Mark Zuckerberg for president!!!

    • Konola says:

      Nancy, I totally agree. I can't see Frackenlooper as Prez, and I don't really want him as Gov either. I'd love to see Hillary for the US and Morgan Carroll for Gov.


  3. roccoprahn says:

    I concur with all 4 above, and have to say the PPP poll gells with what I'm hearing.

    One thing that seems to be falling through the cracks, however, is the actual divide in republicans I work with when it comes to HRC.

    Older, as in over 58 YOA white republicans, both men and women, see Secretary Clinton not for what she's accomplished since 1993, IE very active First Lady, Senator from New York, and possibly the most influential Secretary of State of my lifetime, but rather a "radical liberal womens' lib feminist that failed to dump her husband when he cheated". In that view, they are being older republicans acting like older republicans.

    However, younger republicans, professional people, military veterans and actives, women as well as men, view her through the prism of what she's done since and in a less polarizing light. They obviously aren't monolithic, but you don't get the sense of vitriol the old white coots hold on to. In short they see her a a potentially formidible and dangerous opposition candidate, and the respect for her is there.

    Democrats I know seem to really hope she declares, and in all the age groups. People that remember her from way back see her as that fighter for womens' rights, the beacon of equal rights. Her accomplishments since 2001 are legendary in liberal circles, her incontestable knowledge of the world we live in gives her an edge in policy, both foriegn and domestic  never………EVER……….seen in a candidate before.

    She's a political monster. Since her loss to the President in the '08 primary, she hit the road, amassing over a million miles as Ambassador of the United States to the world. Everyone in government on the planet knows her.

    It would be AWESOME.

  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Disappointed with PPP.

    I want to see Udall v Hickenlooper for:

    Governor and Senator

  5. OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

    Of course there's not a lot of support for Hick to run in 2016 – and it's not because he's been luke warm on the environment, took a stand on gun issues, and a multitude of other things that people on both aisles are saying hurt his chances (which they don't. That man has never taken a stance that didn't help him politically in some fashion)

    There's no support because the prevelant arc of history right now is that Hillary is going to run – and she would win hands down if she did. Why would you support a Hick run if the conventional wisdom is get out of the way for Hillary? 

    Run a poll without Hillary in the mix and then see where he stands. 

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      The other candidates for President will actually be running for Vice President. So they'll be competitive to show they can campaign and resonate, but they won't try to hurt Hillary too much so that she will consider them.

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