UPDATE #2: The Denver Post quotes other pollsters openly questioning Quinnipiac's numbers:
Jay Leve, editor of SurveyUSA, who oversaw a Denver Post poll released last week that had drastically different findings, questioned the Quinnipiac poll's results.
"We at SurveyUSA have a great deal of respect for Quinnipiac, but we don't see the race this way," he said. "This (poll) stands out as different than a collective of polls from across the country."
Leve cited the USA Today poll that had the same results as the SurveyUSA poll as proof of the Quinnipiac poll's inconsistency.
UPDATE: Politico's James Hohmann throws cold water on today's Q-poll:
No one in the game really believes that Beauprez is ahead by double digits a month-and-a-half out from the election. [Pols emphasis] A Denver Post/SurveyUSA poll last week had Hickenlooper up 2 points, 45-43, among likely voters. The NBC/Marist Poll in the field Sept. 2-4, showed Hickenlooper up 4 points, 43-39.
A Quinnipiac survey of registered voters from July put Beauprez up 1, 44 percent to 43 percent.
Quinnipiac, which also overestimated Mitt Romney’s standing in Colorado in , didn’t release Senate numbers today. But the Senate ballot is likely to be better for GOP Rep. Cory Gardner than other public surveys when it comes out later in the week.
Just one day after 9NEWS reported that the Republican Governors Association's media buys in support of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez have run out with no new buys on the horizon, a poll from Quinnipiac University today–outlier or not–challenges conventional wisdom about this race yet again. As FOX 31's Chuck Hikey reports:
In a stunning reversal from previous polling, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning shows Republican gubernatorial challenger Bob Beauprez with a 10-point lead over Gov. John Hickenlooper less than two months from Election Day.
The poll from Connecticut-based Quinnipiac has Beauprez leading Hickenlooper 50 percent to 40 percent among likely voters.
In July, Quinnipiac had the race tied.
While 77 percent of likely voters say their mind is made up, 22 percent said they could change their mind in the next seven weeks.
The Colorado Springs Gazette's Megan Schrader:
The poll also asked voters whether they would say "John Hickenlooper is honest and trustworthy or not." According to the poll, 44 percent said no, while when asked the same question about Beauprez, 28 percent said no.
And while Beauprez has the support of 54 percent of the men polled and Hickenlooper has 34 percent, the two were essentially tied among women – a key demographic in the elections this year.
Hickenlooper is also behind with the support of independent voters, who in Colorado hold serious sway over election results, making up nearly a third of all registered voters.
And from Quinnipiac's memo:
"Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is behind the challenger on the key qualities voters want in a leader: honesty, caring and leadership," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.
"Pundits were predicting that Gov. Hickenlooper faced a close race for reelection. Instead, he's got a mad dash to make up a double-digit deficit. The Democrat does not get the traditional strong support from women to offset Bob Beauprez's army of support from men."
First of all, and it can be said without sounding at all defensive–this poll is most certainly an outlier unless corroborated by other polls. Only one other poll has shown a lead for Beauprez in this race, when conservative-leaning Rasmussen pegged Beauprez with a statistically insignificant 1-point lead earlier this month. Every other read of this race we have seen shows it to be too close to call, with Hickenlooper technically up by a point or two. As we said yesterday, we've heard rumors about internal polling that shows a bleaker picture for Republicans in both the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. Up until this poll, though, all publicly available polling has been locked in a tight range.
Bottom line: even if this poll is quickly shown by other polling to be off as we suspect will happen, it gives a big boost to Beauprez's campaign in the short term. Conversely, Gov. John Hickenlooper's campaign can flog this poll with their donor base to instill a sense of urgency–perhaps less of an advantage given Hickenlooper's already massive leading in fundraising, but it will still be useful. Outlier or not, there's nothing about this poll that should make Hickenlooper's supporters complacent. With polling in the U.S. Senate race showing Mark Udall opening a small but persistent lead, problems unique to Hickenlooper (and fairly recent) are his own to remedy.
The only thing we can add is that there is still a very large gap between voter perception of Beauprez as evidenced in this poll, and the words that have come out of Beauprez's mouth into the permanent record. Aside from a couple of isolated exposures, the "WTF Gang"-worthy Bob Beauprez our readers know has never really been introduced to the public. Even worse, he's been misleadingly cast in the local press as a "mainstream moderate," a description that frankly baffles us given what we have reported in this space. How can that term be accurately used on a civil war-fantasizing birther who thinks climate change is a "complete hoax" and sees Sharia law lurking around every corner?
We've heard that information, properly presented, really changes the poll numbers. The problem is that the large majority voters only know what they are told, and they haven't been told much about Beauprez. In the next six weeks, whether Hickenlooper takes the gloves off or third party groups unleash the video clips we all know are out there, the other shoe will drop after Hickenlooper's undeniably tough political summer. In the end, we just don't think Hickenlooper can fall fast enough, or Beauprez rise high enough, to change the outcome.
It had better go down that way, because most people who know the full story are legitimately horrified by the prospect of Bob Beauprez actually being elected governor of Colorado.