Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hickenlooper’s Approval Drops 15 Points Since Last Fall

A year and a half out from his re-election, Governor Hickenlooper faces the first significant crises of his political career. A controversial death penalty decision and left-leaning legislative session has cost Hickenlooper’s approval to drop 15 points since last September.

A Quinnipiac poll of September 19, 2012 registered a stunning 62 percent approval for the governor verses the latest June 13, 2013 poll showing Hickenlooper with a mere 47 percent approval. Voters are evenly divided on if he deserves re-election: 45 percent say he does and 44 percent say no.  Independents are 6 points on the “no” side.

He has had extraordinary good fortune in his ten-year career as Denver mayor and now governor, usually recording approval or favorability ratings of 60 to 70 percent in the metro area. Although his first mayoral election was competitive in 2003, he won by a substantial margin and his election as governor was mostly a walk since the State Republican Party imploded with an incompetent nominee and far right independent candidate. Hickenlooper won in 2010 by 16 points against his nearest opponent in what was otherwise a good Republican year.
But, the good times are over.
Hickenlooper’s Republican approval has collapsed to a mere 19 percent, and he is now losing independent voters 44 percent approval to 47 percent disapproval. His problems were exasperated by the liberal Denver-Boulder legislative agenda alienating rural Colorado. Hickenlooper is now losing the Western Slope 45 percent to 47 percent in approval and the non-metro Front Range and High Plains by 40 percent approval to 47 percent disapproval. His metro area approval is slightly above 50 percent.
Hickenlooper is in danger of surrendering his well-cultivated image of independent everyman.

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