Poll: Hick Leads Dem Senate Pack By…51 Points

As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports, this is what a prohibitive favorite looks like:

Six hundred likely Democratic primary voters in the state were polled and 61% preferred Hickenlooper, compared to 10% for Mike Johnston and 8% for Andrew Romanoff. Fifteen percent were undecided and 6% favored Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who said Friday that she isn’t running in 2020.

The poll was conducted July 25-28 by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, which has a B+ pollster rating from FiveThirtyEight. The poll was conducted on behalf of a national Democratic group involved in Senate races. It has a 4% margin of error…

“Governor Hickenlooper is personally popular among likely Democratic primary voters, with 77 percent of them saying they would have a favorable reaction if he decided to enter the Senate race,” wrote Democratic pollster Geoff Garin in a memo accompanying the poll. Nine percent of those surveyed would have an unfavorable reaction to Hickenlooper’s entry.

Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group counts among its clients the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee–and although Wingerter doesn’t say so explicitly it was almost certainly released with their blessing. What this poll tells us is that former Gov. John Hickenlooper remains very popular and (key point) well-known among Colorado Democrats, as well as unaffiliated voters who can now vote in Democratic primaries. Disaffection with Hickenlooper on the left side of the Democratic base doesn’t appear to be a major liability, which tells us that resentment has been siloed with hardcore activists and the general voting public simply considers Hickenlooper to be a moderate Democrat.

Numbers like these make a compelling case for Hickenlooper to enter the U.S. Senate race, and soon, in order to allow Democrats at all levels to lock in their own strategy around Hickenlooper and put an end to unproductive primary spending. Coming later than most candidates, this news is naturally not welcome to the other primary contenders–but just like Cory Gardner himself cleared his field in all but formality upon his late entry in 2014, Hickenlooper arithmetically outclasses his opposition in the Democratic Senate primary. He is better known and better equipped to mount the challenge than anyone else. If Hickenlooper declines to run, he’s not the only candidate who can beat the vulnerable incumbent–but he’s the candidate most likely to force national Republicans to conclude Cory Gardner’s seat can’t be saved.

At the end of the day, that surety is what Democrats need most.

30 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    And, Hick would only be 80 when he runs for his 3rd term as senator.

    The perfect campaign manager for Hick.

  2. bullshit! says:

    This is almost painfully bad for the other candidates. It translates into MILLIONS of dollars that don't need to be spent introducing Hick to voters because they already know him. I am nowhere near in agreement with Hick on energy but on most other issues he's a good progressive. He's Cory Gardner's end and that's most important to me too.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Well put, Bullshit! But there are a few purists who would rather risk keeping Cory Gardner than put a Fossillian and Corporatist Dem in this seat. I think his energy policy is appalling, and his fracking fluid stunt, asinine but I want Gardner out at all cost.

      If the evangelicals could hold their noses and vote for Trump, our environmentalists can hold theirs a vote for Hick.

      • Duke Cox says:

        Your implication that environmentalists should compromise their values like evangelicals have is extremely insulting.

        That says a lot about you.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          If there should be a Green Party candidate running in a race against Gardner and Hick, you can keep your values pure and uncompromised.

          By the way, while I agree with almost nothing that the evangelicals stand for, I respect their ability to identify what it is they want – control over the judiciary – and their resolve to do whatever they need to do to obtain it.

          Some on the left could learn from that. Or keep losing and whining about it.

          • mamajama55 says:

            The difference is that environmentalists are fighting to mitigate a real existential crisis -catastrophic climate change. Evangelicals, on the other hand, seek converts to their sect’s interpretation of scripture, and revenues for their churches. 

            And by the way, who’s been “losing and whining about it?” Were you paying attention to the 2018 elections? More diverse, progressive, environmentalists in Congress than ever before. This pattern was repeated in state legislatures across the country.

            Only in the gerrymandered Senate with Moscow Mitch in control, did Republicans and moderate Democrats remain in power; but six of those Senators, most of them people you would denigrate as” hard left” ,are running for President, and are in the top 6 polled.  

            Moderates (Hick, Bennet, Klobuchar, etc) are losing in Presidential polling and donations. The money and enthusiasm is going to the more leftist candidates – like it or not. 

            So you can continue characterizing progressive candidates as “losers and whiners”; however, reality is refusing to cooperate with your version of it. 

            • JohnInDenver says:

              Your take on the Presidential campaign is fascinating … " The money and enthusiasm is going to the more leftist candidates "

              I'm not sure how you overlook or miscategorize the current polling leader (Biden, up by 12.8% over his nearest competitor in today's RCP listing).  Are you overlooking or miscategorizing the 2nd Quarter fundraising leader (Buttigieg, at $24.8 million).   Buttigieg and Biden out raised Sanders and Warren.  Biden & Buttigieg combine in the RCP aggregation to 37.1%, Warren & Sanders have 34.8%.

              • mamajama55 says:

                More accurately, in the Democratic Presidential field, moderates and leftists are about equal in money, polling, and enthusiasm. ( still not whiners and losers , as R&R likes to call them). The progressives – Warren, Sanders, Harris, and Booker – do make up 4/6 of the top 6 contenders.

                So I’ll take your correction. I’ll restate as:  Progressives   still dominate the top Democratic candidates field, but polling and fundraising are about equal between progressives and moderates. Buttigieg did outraise Sanders by about 7M$. Warren has about 35M$ total. 

                Your aggregation is interesting – but 34.8 % isn’t far from 37%, and  Biden, as he continues to gaffe-slam his way through the debate season like a bull in a china shop, will lose ground to other candidates, possibly to Buttigieg for the moderate votes. 

                And at least we can manage a civil disagreement. 

            • RepealAndReplace says:

              “Were you paying attention to the 2018 elections? More diverse, progressive, environmentalists in Congress than ever before.”

              You mean like the surge in diverse, passionate progressive environmentalists who carried 112 to success last November?

              As for your hard left presidential candidates (i.e., Medicare-For-All, Like It or Not), Old Bernie's campaign is circling the drain albeit with Warren picking up some of his lost followers.

  3. harrydoby says:

    With as strong a candidate Hick would make, just one campaign ad could make Gardner a one-and-done senator:

    "Would you buy a used tractor from this man?"

    Image result for cory gardner windmill picture


  4. mamajama55 says:

    Where's the $#%%!! poll? Nobody seems to have a link to it. Not Pols, not the Post, not Townhall. Nothing comes up for Garin-Hart-Yang research group. Hart research has no "Hickenlooper" and no "Colorado Senate" results in its search results. The Denver Post link to Five thirty Eight's "B+ rating" only goes to a page that doesn't even have Garin Hart Yang Research on it..

    When one looks up Garin Hart Yang on 538, there is no Hickenlooper, nor Colorado Senate poll listed.

    I call BS. This is like AG Barr telling us that Trump was exonerated, without, you know, actually letting anyone see the report.

    Until the actual poll is posted, and we can see what the mysterious Garin Hart Yang actually found and whom they actually polled, this is not a conclusive result.

    • Voyageur says:

      Uhhh, 51 points is kind of definitive.   Rage all you like.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        La Pamposa no cree esta encuesta. Ella llamó caca de toro.

      • The realist says:

        Are the "51 points" wishful thinking on someone's part, or a REAL poll? Seems as if it shouldn't be so difficult to find – if it's real. For the record, I wasn't polled . . .

        • mamajama55 says:

          I don’t doubt that a poll was conducted. I’d like to see it to see who commissioned it, what questions were asked, how did they determine who was a “likely Democratic primary voter”, what the demographic cross tabs show.

          Every news article published here , or elsewhere, citing a poll as a source has had a link to the poll so that readers can investigate just such questions. That this article, and even the original Post article by Justin Wingerter, did not link to an actual poll is ….odd, and questionable journalism. The last example we had of a hidden poll turned out to be done by backers of Secretary Griswold , who were testing the waters for a Senate run.

          I’ve written to Mr. Wingerter and to Mr. Garin, through his research firm. If anyone writes back, I’ll let you know.


          • The realist says:

            Sounds good. Agree, what were the questions? Was it a "push" poll?

          • JohnInDenver says:

            Most humorous "spin" on the poll — Townhall, claiming "In a new poll of likely Democratic primary voters, only 18 percent said they approve of the current candidates on the ballot."

            One indication of the poll consequences, according to Axios:

            The Democratic group 314 Action, which supports candidates with a science background, is launching a six-figure "Draft Hickenlooper" campaign Tuesday to encourage John Hickenlooper to drop out of the 2020 presidential race and instead run for Senate, Axios has learned.

            • mamajama55 says:

              There are two scientists running for Senate; one, Trish Zornio, teaches at CU and has researched at Stanford. Zornio actually coordinates 314 Action in Colorado. It’s gotta sting that 314 is not backing her, but backing a geologist who hasn’t worked in the field in a decade, and who hasn’t even declared that he’s running. 

              • RepealAndReplace says:

                And as scientists, they should be proficient in math. And with each polling somewhere in the neighborhood of 1%, they have about as much of a chance as being the Democratic nominee for Senate as Hick has of winning the Democratic presidential nomination. Which means virtually none.

    • gertie97 says:

      MJ, use the google on Geoff Garin, the pollster quoted by the Post.

      I suggest soft paper towels to pick up the pieces of your exploding head. Good luck with the mess!

      • mamajama55 says:

        No towels needed, Gertie- Geoff Garin’s bio comes up just dandy, but where’s the fricking poll? Please provide a link.

        You’re a better journalist than that. So was V. So are the Alvas. Have you ever published a poll result, especially one so extraordinary, without checking the original source?

        Didn’t think so.

        • MADCO says:

          no link, so there probably is no poll.

          There is only one definitive event and that will be in March.

          Until then – building name recognition is expensive. And sometimes pointless.


        • gertie97 says:

          The Denver ghost published this, not me or V. Back when it was the Post, it had editors, who would have kicked a reporter's ass from here to Sunday for turning in a story without the source to the poll.

          That said, I'm no longer employed in journalism, much to my dismay but to the joy of many Western Slope politicos.

          Back to the post: you might try contacting the ghost reporter. It's a thought.


  5. doremi says:

    Frankly, there are good candidates already running…and any one of them could romp and stomp Gardner. 

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    Everyone on the hard left should take a deep breath and stop hyperventilating.

    As much as I would like to see Hick run against Gardner, I doubt that he will. He really has never had any desire to serve in any legislative body. Why would he start now?

    My guess is he is running to be Kamala Harris' VEEP, or Secretary of Something or Another.

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