Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Udall and Hickenlooper Re-election

Neither Governor John Hickenlooper nor Senator Mark Udall have identified Republican opponents, but both of them must deal with legislatures that are prone to highly contentious behavior.

Udall is part of a club in record disrepute, with a highly partisan leadership and he is voting on polarizing issues, such as gun control and budget resolutions, that divide more than unite.

But, as of today, Udall is moving toward a 2014 re-election with little apparent trouble. The latest Public Policy Polling (PPP) robo poll has Udall beginning re-election with a 17-point margin between approval and disapproval, reflecting a 14 percent increase in approval since their November poll.  He tends to split the difference on controversial issues, like guns (for the registration compromise against assault weapons ban) and he is aggressively banking re-election funds ($1 million 1st quarter).
Although he won in the 2008 Barack Obama 7-point sweep in Colorado, and in 2014 he will be on his own in a lower turnout election – the type that produced a Republican recovery in 2010 – Udall still has the advantage. Obama is hardly as popular as he was in 2008 (he only got a 48% approval in latest PPP poll). In addition, at the moment, Democrats are up 5 percent in the generic congressional ballot test, showing no Republican mid-term advantage yet.
Hickenlooper, on the other hand, has been impacted by the type and volume of legislation produced by the Democratic control of the Colorado House and Senate.
His positive rating dropped two and his negative climbed 18 points. Hickenlooper’s approval among men is only 44 percent; independents, which he historically has done well with, he only has 49 percent approval; Anglos 51 percent; baby boomers 50 percent; and he is losing Republicans by 50 points, with only 20 percent approval.
Hickenlooper, after a ten-year career seen as an independent, has following this partisan and controversial session become a Democrat.
National attention on Colorado’s gun control legislation won Hickenlooper a spot on talk shows, but cost him with moderate and independent voters. Add to guns, high-profile gay rights legislation, marijuana legalization and a billion dollar tax increase for public schools, the most liberal legislative session in modern Colorado history is moving Hickenlooper’s negatives up.

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