PPP: Tancredo, Buck Lead GOP Gubernatorial, Senate Packs

2014, meet 2010.

2014, meet 2010.

If new polling released today from Democratic-aligned pollster Public Policy Polling proves accurate, Colorado is headed back to the future in 2014.

PPP's new Colorado poll finds voters closely divided in their feelings about both Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Mark Udall- but also that this could prove to be another place where Republicans waste an opportunity by running the wrong candidate.

In 2010 Hickenlooper defeated Tom Tancredo by 15 points. Yet despite having half a dozen candidates to choose from next year, Republicans are still leaning toward nominating Tancredo again. He gets 34% support among GOP primary voters to 15% for Scott Gessler, 9% for Greg Brophy, 3% each for Mike Kopp and Jim Rundberg, and 2% for Steve House.

Voters are pretty split in their opinions about Hickenlooper with 45% approving of him to 48% who disapprove. But in a head to head match up with Tancredo he still leads by 8 points at 48/40. He has similar margins against Mike Kopp (45/37) and Scott Gessler (47/40). The Republican who comes closest, despite having minimal name recognition, is actually Greg Brophy at 44/43. Tancredo and Gessler are both much better known but with favorability ratings of 31/42 and 15/24 respectively they are not particularly well liked so their being known isn't really a good thing…

Tom Tancredo, Ken Buck.

Tom Tancredo, Ken Buck.

PPP should always be properly disclaimed as a polling outfit that generally works for Democrats, but it's worth noting that their polling has proven highly reliable in past Colorado elections. They're telling a story not too dissimilar from other polls we've seen recently from Quinnipiac University: Democrats have taken an undeniable hit this year from a combination of political setbacks, but Colorado Republicans are totally unprepared to capitalize on this new weakness. There is perhaps no better example of this than the incredibly feeble gubernatorial primary field competing to take on an admittedly weakened Democratic incumbent. Our gut feeling is still not that 2010 third-party candidate and extremist former Congressman Tom Tancredo will become the nominee, but his lead in this early poll is a telling indicator of how weak this field is.

Continuing to the 2014 U.S. Senate, not much else to buoy GOP electoral hopes in Colorado there either:

We're seeing a similar story in the Colorado Senate race. Ken Buck proved to be a very poor candidate against Michael Bennet in 2010 and lost a contest Republicans were generally expected to win all year long. And now GOP voters are ready to run him again- 45% say he's their choice for Senate candidate to just 8% for Randy Baumgardner, 7% for Amy Stephens, 2% for Owen Hill, 1% for Jaime McMillan, and less than 1% for Mark Aspiri.

As in the gubernatorial race, it's remarkable to see 2010 GOP U.S. Senate nominee Ken Buck's name, as of this poll, headed for the November ballot in 2014. We continue to be amazed by the underperformance of former Colorado House Minority Leader Amy Stephens, who really by all rights should be polling better than 7% in this race. That, along with Buck in the lead, spells bad news for Republicans who would like to actually do well in next year's elections. As it stands today, this is the top of a ticket tailor-made to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCatBlueCat says:

    Really surprised at the low numbers favorable/unfavorable period for Gessler. 15/24? That's a cumulative 39% who have heard of him and feel they know enough about him to have an opinion one way or the other? And he's a sitting SOS?  One who's had controversy after controversy getting media attention since before he was even sworn in?!?

    I think this illustrates how much we over-estimate the number of folks out there who are tuned in to the things that make the big splashes here at Pols. The one constant for these guys is high disapproval in proportion to approval among however many give a damn.

    • Craig says:

      In my experience (and I have a lot with the SOS office) these numbers are higher than average, and that may be due to the fact that Gessler is so well known.  I usually see numbers in the area of 25% even recognizing the name of the SOS.  So, from my experience, he has a lot more name recognition than he should have and he is probably worse off for it.  In addition, when the other 60% who don't recognize his name get the connection between him and the "bad SOS" his numbers will go down.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Thanks for the benefit of your experience. I knew over all name rec for SOS would be low and figured Gessler's numbers would be a little higher than usual because of all the controversy. Guess, I didn't realize quite how low "usual" really is. 

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    All this poll shows is low name ID for most candidates. The 2010 names are more memorable for obvious reasons. In the Senate race, Amy Stephens is still the best situated to break out of the pack once people start paying attention. I believe it's very unlikely either Tanc or Buck will win either nomination.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Dems would be just as happy with Amy as with Tanc or Buck. So, setting aside the unlikelihood of any such scenario, big deal.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      You boys better do better than Maes this time around.  Our state needs intelligent candidates that are seeking practical solutions to real problems.  No more goobers who couldn't manage a McDonalds.  Give us some candidates that at least make sense of the issues.  I don't have to agree with them but it would be nice if they gave an indication that they live on the same planet that I do.  Just my recommendation.

    • nota33 says:

      Tancredo and Buck will win the nomination and they both will be defeated by Hickenlooper and Udall. Tancredo and Buck rely on one shrinking base and that is white conservatives. Maybe throw a small % of independents in there. Buck and Tancredo are both radical extremists that have made comments hostile to gays and immigrants. They both will lose. Udall and Hickenlooper can't ask for a better opponent than these two right wing nuts.

  3. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Hey, Colorado Pols

    How about adding my boys to the Big Line?

    Jaime McMillan, Mark Aspiri, Jim Rundberg


  4. Craig says:

    Hey, how's that line about a surging campaign sounding about now Sen. Hill?  Guess that makes your BS story about a stalker all the more impossible to believe.  Maybe you should take a number from the candidates with more humility and start campaigning on the issues, rather than relying on your pretty looks and stunning hair-do.  Oh, sorry, forgot, all the "Republicans" have these days is prettyt looks and stunning hair-do's.  They don't like the ones with brains, because they can't be told what to do.

  5. nota33 says:

    Are republicans braindead? Why would they think losers who lost in 2010 would do any better in 2014? Buck and Tancredo both are very flawed and they rely on a shrinking base of mostly conservative tea party extremists. Looks the dems will do very nicely in 2014. ken Buck and Tancredo are just another Todd Akin.

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      I think they believe that if they just keep offering up the same tired candidates, people will eventually break down and vote for them. How many times have they put "Eggs are People, Too" on the ballot?

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      The thing is nota that 214 will not be 2010 and 2010 as a wave year for Republicans fueled by the rise and passion of the Tea Party activists.  They are on the wane now and these 2010 candidates haven't shown any growth or development since then.  It would be interesting to find out how many losing state politicians ever won in the next cycle.  The percentage has got to be really low.  The odds are definitely not in their favor.

  6. Sunmusing says:

    Ha…I am a newly minted republican…bring on the primaries…I just be figting fire with fire…I have been following the GOP's election playbook, and well, I am going to do what they suggest…well, not Exactly…but close enough…

  7. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Before everyone spends too much time celebrating in advance, keep in mind a couple of things. First many politicians have come back from a close loss to a win the next time around. Newt Gingrich for one (lost the first two times). Smart politicians learn from their defeats.

    Tancredo plus the anyone Republican vote in the last gubernatorial election was over 47%. Tancredo can win (which is a sad commentary about many of the voters here).

    Buck lost because he let Bennet define the race. If Buck decides this time to speak to women's health & gay rights, he'll do better. Pretty much no matter what he says, a specific clear message from him will probably be better than letting Udall paint him even worse.

    I think the odds favor Hick & Udall. But not by much. I do think Udall will do better than Bennet, because he actually puts the people of Colorado first at times (unlike Bennet).

    • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

      If Buck speaks to women's issues and gay rights he'll do worse.  His views are no better than the how the Dems painted him.  Do you really think he has anything to say on these issues which will win him more votes from these constituencies?

  8. nikswhite7 says:

    No way Tancredo wins.  This headline should read…Greg Brophy Even With Hickenlooper!

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.