S360: Polis 34%, Kennedy 23%, Both Beat Stapleton

Cary Kennedy, Jared Polis.

Ernest Luning of the former Colorado Statesman reports on a new poll from Strategies 360 on behalf of the Service Employees International Union’s small-donor committee–showing Jared Polis cruising to victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, but both Polis and principal Democratic challenger Cary Kennedy both ahead of Republican presumed frontrunner Walker Stapleton:

Jared Polis holds a lead over Cary Kennedy atop the four-way Democratic primary to be Colorado’s next governor, but both would defeat Republican frontrunner Walker Stapleton by the same margin, according to a new survey…

The poll of likely Democratic primary voters and likely general election voters also shows that nearly half of respondents consider themselves to be either just getting by or struggling economically — despite the state’s booming economy — and a good share of them haven’t decided how to vote for governor, either in this month’s primary or the November election.

Those voters, the pollsters added, appear to be receptive to candidates who are up front about supporting workers.

Here’s the full memo on today’s poll.

An interesting detail in this poll, obviously germane to the SEIU’s political platform, is the difference in the results between respondents who describe themselves as struggling economically versus those who self-identify as financially comfortable. Among primary voters who are struggling, the race between Polis and Kennedy is substantially tighter with Polis’ lead shrinking to four points. It’s worth noting that the head-to-head matchups against Stapleton are similarly closer among economically struggling voters, which means the question runs deeper than the mere wealth of the candidates.

All told this poll is good news for Polis, good for Democrats in general, and a clear indicator of where the swing votes will be both in the primary election and in November. Colorado’s economy is booming, but not everyone is seeing the benefits. The candidate who succeeds in winning voters who have yet to feel the recovery with a positive vision for their personal futures will have the decisive edge in the race to be the next governor.

Love him or hate him, this is a truth that John Hickenlooper won two terms by never forgetting.

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Democratic political group Strategies 360 would never release a poll showing a Republican in the lead. This poll is useless.

    • unnamed says:

      So, nutlid.  Tell me how you feel about the fact that Dems picked up another Republican held Trump-won seat in Wisconsin.  How do you feel about the fact that one of your fascist White Supremacist friends won the Senate primary in Virginia?

      Also, how does kneeling during the National Anthem ruin your football-going experience?

    • JohnInDenver says:


      If you believe that campaigns and other organizations wouldn't release polls showing their candidates losing, what does it say that NO Republican campaign has released a comparison poll showing the different candidates against the various Democrats?

      Or have I missed something?

    • Genghis says:


      Tell us again about how Cynthia Coffman is guaranteed to be Colorado's next governor.

    • Mike W. says:

      Would you say its about as useless as trumpeting a candidate for months on end, who ended up getting less than 10% support from her own party, and pretending like that never happened?

      I'm asking for the previous guy to hold your position at Glorious Trolling Bureau, Basement #432. 

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    The lower margin for those struggling – is that that Cary Kennedy speaks better to their concerns? Or is it that they break more evenly between the two because neither has resonated for them?

  3. mamajama55 says:

    My Dem friends are split ~ 50-50 between the front runner gov candidates. I don’t see any economic characteristics for either group. We’re all fine with whichever one gets the nomination, and don’t spend any time arguing about it. Better things to do.

    • The realist says:

      Exactly. My take on it, also. Both of the front runners are great candidates – each has different strengths but are very strong candidates. Dems I talk with will be happy with the outcome of the Primary, AND will be very excited to elect another Dem Governor in November.

    • Voyageur says:

      Hopefully that will stay the case, mj.  Whichever wins may face some ferocious attacks this fall .That 's especially true if the winner is Polis.  A lot of fundamentalist preachers will interrupt their busy schedules of molesting the choir girls to denounce homosexuality.


      • JohnInDenver says:

        Those who want to attack will have already honed their "not a woman as a leader" explanations in 2016.

        Southern Baptists and lots of other denominations still don't allow women to be a lead pastor, saving the females' "complementary gifts" for tasks such as child and youth ministry, women's ministry and visitation ministries. They can make the coffee, too.

        I kinda think people willing to sit in those pews may not be supporters of any Democrat — though the statements may vary

        • Voyageur says:

          There is some evidence, John, that younger evangelicals have the same more rational views toward lgbt and women that secular youth do.  But change is slow in religious communities.

          • JohnInDenver says:

            You betcha … some younger evangelicals are more accepting, more loving of ALL God's children.

            That is one substantial reason fewer are sitting in pews at SBC congregations (and other hard line/ old line evangelical denominations).

      • mamajama55 says:

        O&G has been attacking Polis for a year already. They use him to raise $ for R candidates. Not so much him being gay as being anti "frack everywhere".

        Oppo researchers are probably very busy right now trying to dig up dirt on Cary Kennedy in case she's the nominee.



      • Gilpin Guy says:

        The only way the Evangelical Pharisees wouldn't denounce the Democratic nominee would be if she/he had an (R) behind his/her name.  The social stigmas won't go away but neither  will Climate Change.  Hopefully the Democratic nominee will be addressing issues that resonate with the non-Neanderthal voters.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Agree mama.  Both would be good nominees.  I prefer Polis because he has recent legislative experience and has extensive experience in dealing with deceitful Republicans in Congress.

  4. flatiron says:

    The sheer volume and frequency of Polis ads is becoming comical  –a $12M onslaught from the Polis personal bank account (while having the audacity to campaign on being the only candidate who is not taking PAC money — will duh sir. No on with $800M in the bank needs a PAC). At some point, it becomes just white noise.

    Kennedy needs to come out swinging in the next debate to break through. Still a lot of undecideds out there

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      What constitutes swinging to you?  Her swipe at Polis over vouchers went thud.  How does she speak to the undecideds in a way that gets past the Polis money?  FYI: Who watches the old networks anyway.  Seems like a waste of money but if we are going to be ruled by rich, white men, we could do worse than Polis.

      • Voyageur says:

        What a campaign slogan: "You're going to be ruled by rich white guys anyway.  Polis is better than most. "

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          Don't you hate the brutal truth?  Nobody really wants truth in advertising.  We want to cling to this fiction that equality really does exist in our society and the unwashed masses are not a servile class to the rich.  That is almost quaint Russian Communist speak.  Look at how the Russians are ruled now.  Rich white guy.  Bad rich white guy.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Not that it matters a great deal in the grand scheme, but

        1. It was not Kennedy’s swipe, but came from a group of teachers supporting her.

        2. She speaks to the undecided as she can, accepting invitations to debates (even if they are on "old" media), talking when invited, and — I think this is most important — having supporters make appeals on social media and in their conversations.

        Since there isn't a huge difference between Kennedy and Polis on what they would like to have happen within the realm of what a governor can actually do, the "swing" needs to be a contrast

        • between "first woman" versus "first gay" as a symbol, and
        • "knowing budgets and how to squeeze out funds" versus "”he knows how to write a check and urge others to do it, too.”"


        • Gilpin Guy says:

          Good points John except the last.  Jared grew his bank account with good ideas and business skills.  He also has been in government for the last eight years and knows intimately the process of creating policies and legislation that furthers the aims of good government.  What's Kennedy's credentials for the last eight years?  Just asking in a polite way.

  5. Rep. Polis was just touting $$ for widening the I-70 intermountain corridor – a proposal his constituents largely disliked vs other solutions back in the 2000s when he was first elected. I like Polis, but sometimes he seems a bit tone-deaf on policy choices. Voted for Kennedy, will be happy with either.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      The other part of that funding, the additional lanes between Castle Rock and Monument is a must.  Forrest Whitman was all for trains to supplement I-70 but how many people will go to Loveland in the summer?  The untried solution is growth control, fewer people, but nobody wants to limit the number of humans who eat, drink and shit in Colorado.

      • MADCO says:

        Personally- I could not care less how many people eat and drink in Colorado.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        The untried solution is growth control, fewer people, but nobody wants to limit the number of humans who eat, drink and shit in Colorado.

        I agree with you, G.G. but those who worship Prosperity Jesus at the Altar of the Church of the Home-builders and Developers Association will accuse you of heresy.


        • Gilpin Guy says:

          I see first hand the wear and tear on the mountains along the Front Range.  If you don't get to the trailhead before eight, you are going to have a to hike a long ways from your car to get to it.

          The watersheds are also at risk.  A high severity wildfire along the Front Range is going to disrupt water supplies to the flatlands.  Golf courses are going to go brown.

          The only thing the citizens of the next century will really need from us are working sources of clean water but we're such putz's that we can't do proper fire mitigation in the watersheds that need it.  More money for roads but zilch for water protection.  What's wrong with that picture?

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