Thursday, August 29, 2013

Governor Hickenlooper’s Campaign Stalls

John Hickenlooper’s campaign has stalled. Two months of campaigning and three months after the end of the controversial 2013 legislative session, John Hickenlooper’s approval remains below fifty percent.

Comparing a June statewide poll to a new August poll, his approval (48%, up from 47%) and disapproval (44%, up from 43%) both moved up one point, but he fails to attract half of Colorado voters. They are still very critical of some of his leadership.

Hickenlooper’s problem is that he has not been able to get away from the controversies he and his fellow Democrats generated during the legislative session. The news for the next two weeks is all about the possible recall of two senior Democratic state senators for their gun control and other liberal positions.

Hickenlooper is asked at every campaign stop his position on ten counties voting on succession based on the legislative session’s action on renewable energy costs, gun control and other issues aggravating more rural Colorado.

And, of course, his own decision in the Nathan Dunlap murder case controversy hurt him. He claims to want a dialogue with voters, but the more he talks about it, the more he reminds the state’s voters about his most controversial and least favored action.
  • 52% don’t like his policy on gun restrictions
  • 48% don’t like his handling of death penalty
Finally, between now and Nov. 5, his main message is about raising taxes – one billion dollars for schools, reinforcing the image of a liberal governor, leading a very liberal legislature.

Hickenlooper is trying to pivot (a frequent Obama strategy) to the economy – a topic he does better on – but the noise is holding him back.

The Buzz: Democratic governors on the left
The Buzz: Governor’s race begins
The Buzz: Hickenlooper’s approval drops 15 points since last fall
The Buzz: Nathan Dunlap and Governor Hickenlooper
The Buzz: Do the Republicans have a challenge to Hickenlooper?
The Buzz: Hickenlooper in trouble?
The Buzz: Udall and Hickenlooper re-election

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