Poll: Hick Weak, Voters Oppose Recall, Back Background Checks

A new poll from Quinnipiac University of Colorado issues and our gubernatorial race contains new and old lessons:

Colorado voters give Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper a split approval rating and more voters say he does not deserve to be reelected, but he has small leads against possible Republican challengers in an early look at the 2014 governor's race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll completed last night and released today. 

Gov. Hickenlooper gets a 48 percent approval rating, while 46 percent disapprove, almost identical to his 48 – 44 percent approval rating in an August 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. Voters say 49 – 42 percent today that the governor does not deserve reelection, also little changed from August. 

But Hickenlooper edges four possible GOP challengers:
46 – 41 percent over former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo;
45 – 40 percent over Secretary of State Scott Gessler;
44 – 38 percent over State Sen. Greg Brophy;
44 – 40 percent over former State Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp.

In other questions, once again voters express overwhelming support for Colorado's new universal background check law for gun purchases. The poll splits support for the new law limiting magazine capacity (49-48%). And again, despite these indicators of support for the legislation actually passed by the Colorado General Assembly, 55% of respondents oppose the amorphous concept of "gun control." As we've said before, this disconnect is evidence of how Democrats lost, at least for the time being, the messaging battle over gun safety legislation. If the public had an accurate understanding of what was passed, they'd be in much better shape politically.

In this statewide poll, 51% of voters support the practice of "fracking" for oil and gas development. They also oppose the pending recall attempt against Sen. Evie Hudak by a 49-38% margin. Both of these questions are less relevant with action on the issues happening at the local level–but certainly message fodder for each.

Gov. John Hickenlooper's polling weakness evidenced by Quinnipiac is offset by the weak field of potential Republican challengers–also a dynamic we've been watching develop over the past few months. That's not the most comfortable position to be in, of course, with a year for impressions to change in either direction. But we do believe that Hickenlooper's advantage over his weak challengers will grow, not shrink, as voters get to know them.

All the details for today's poll here.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Democrats lost, at least for the time being, the messaging battle over gun safety legislation.

    If that's true, Dems lost it yourselves by being unable to understand or explain the Bloomberg bills. It was Democrats like Rhonda Fields who fumbled trying to explain the mag ban, and IIRC it was Dave Kopel who helped fix the shotgun ban language. Degette made an idiot of herself with her "bullets have been shot" nonsense about magazines. The lesson is, legislate not that which you don't understand.

    • nota33 says:

      Some people seem to forget that polls only involve a few hundred or thousand people participating in them. After the government shutdown, it is going to be very hard for a republican to win in CO in 2014 against Hickenlooper. All of the republican candidates are weak. Tancredo will probably be the one that runs against Hickenlooper and people know how racist Tancredo is. Gun owners in CO represent a tiny % of citizens.

      • BlueCat says:

        The good polls still come pretty close, especially if you average several and they include a sampling reflective of the electorate. Voter turn out is never anywhere near 100% so lets not get started on missing voters. Lots of missing voters on both sides is the norm. 

        The main thing is they show Hick with around a 5 point lead this far out over whatever the Rs can put up against him and most voters are extremely low info especially at this point. There will be plenty of money for Hick supporters to feature them in all their glorious craziness come election time.  In Hick's case a chunk of disapproval comes from Dems who will vote for him over any of the Rs.  Rs won't break the bank on this one. Hick will win reelection against any of them.

        • BlueCat says:

          By the way, Quinn is considered to be right tilting. PPP left tilting. So a 5 point lead in a Quinn poll is pretty good for Dem in a purple state race.

          • Correction: PPP is recognized as having leadership (and clientelle) that leans to the left, but its polling bias is actually a 1-point rightward tilt.

            • BlueCat says:

              If you say so. As a close follower of poll averaging sites during election seasons it usually seems as though PPP winds up being a point or two generous to most of the candidates on my side but I can't claim to have done a statistical study. 

              In any case, it's still far out to make final calls. In my experience poll averages that show leads of only a few points, if consistent over time and close to the finish, usually predict the winner pretty accurately, even when they are within the margin of error.

              You rarely see someone who stays at 3 or 4 points ahead over time and entering election day lose even though or 3 points is usually within that margin. And when one of the candidates I've been rooting for has been four points behind for weeks but pulls to between a point behind and a point ahead in just a couple of the polls towards the end, I don't get too excited and I can't remember the last time, in that situation, my lack of excitement wasn't justified by the disappointing results.

              If Hick stays where he is in these head to heads I wouldn't urge his R opponent to start measuring for drapes.

      • Urban Snowshoer says:





        nota33 wrote: “Some people seem to forget that polls only involve a few hundred or thousand people participating in them.”


        It also depends on who is in your sample—if you predominantly (or exclusively) call land lines you’re probably going to end up with an older, more conservative sample. It also depends on a lot on how you frame the questions. For example, the Republicans can design a push-poll that asks respondents whether they favor a government takeover of healthcare—most people are going to say no. However, if you frame the question as whether they think everyone should have a basic level of healthcare, you’re probably going to get a more favorable response.  

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        Some people seem to forget that polls only involve a few hundred or thousand people participating in them. – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/51779/poll-hick-weak-voters-oppose-recall-back-background-checks#sthash.wKcxCvhI.dpuf

    • nota33 says:

      It's good to know that women and hispanics support Hickenlooper over Tancredo. Tancredo is a racist bigot. In the article, it says voters don't like gun control. Should have been more specific, Republican gun nuts who support the NRA don't like gun control. losing women and hispanic support is going to doom the GOP. 🙂

    • nota33 says:

      You republican nuts are doing so terrible with women, hispanics, blacks, etc.

  2. notaskinnycook says:

    "I do not think that word means what you think it means." – The Princess Bride           So, gun control is a lot like the ACA, people don't like the title, but they like the effect? Figures. I think a lot of the distaste for both is a function of sound bites and talking points.                                                                                                            Dems have got to get better at the sound bite game, that  or goad teapublicans into saying more and going off-script, so that people who get all of their news from television get a better picture of the full Republican platform. That should put them off Republicans for good

    • BlueCat says:

      Dems have to stop believing the Rs when they claim to be speaking for the people and have to stop being afraid to engage. Dems afraid of even mentioning modest gun safety legislation  didn't spend any time explaining what's actually in it and Rs were happy to fill he void with nonsense. That's why you get things like polls showing  majorities approve of background checks and elections where people vote for the candidates who oppose them. Those candidates spent all their time yelling "They're trying to take away your guns" while Dems cowered and tried to talk about anything else. So voters thought it was actually legislation to take away everybody's guns. 

      The same thing happened with ACA in 2010. Scared Dems wouldn't talk about it at all so all the info voters got came from Rs putting out the scariest crap they could think up. Rs took the House and lots of state legislatures.

      Rs think voters are stupid and will believe anything they tell them so they tell them whatever lies they think will do the trick. Dems think voters are stupid and won't understand explanations so they run from controversial issues instead of explaining them.  I think Dems should try giving the public just a little more credit. Running from the field hasn't worked out so well.

  3. Urban Snowshoer says:

    The Governor has done a decent job but he'll face a tougher opponent. The first time around was easy–the Republicans kept imploding and if he couldn't beat someone who was convinced that the Bcycle program was UN conspriacy that threatened everyone's freedoms, he'd have to give up any future political aspirations.

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