Thursday, July 3, 2014

Governor’s Race a Toss-up

Bob Beauprez (L) and Gov. John Hickenlooper (R)
Bob Beauprez, benefitting from the publicity from his June 24 primary win, is off to a good start. The latest statewide Rasmussen poll (robo poll) indicates the race is dead even – 44 percent to 44 percent. Polls up to this point have positioned the race in favor of incumbent John Hickenlooper beyond the margin of error against his pre-primary field of opponents (48% Hickenlooper to 39% Beauprez in April 21, 2014, Quinnipiac). Additional polls will need to be conducted to affirm the Rasmussen results, but, if the next round of polls have it close, the race would need to be moved from lean Democratic to toss-up.

As I pointed out in my Denver Post column on Sunday, Beauprez joined the Republicans’ “most electable team [in a decade] in what could be a very good Republican year.”
  • The Republican primary was not bitter and his opponents rapidly unified behind him. Republican Party divisions have been a part of a decade of problems
  • His selection of Jill Repella, a well-regarded Douglas County Commissioner, puts an educated suburban woman on the ticket. It is the swing demographic Republicans will need if they are to win the race.
  • The Republican team of Gardner, Buck, Coffman and Stapleton should make a joint contribution to get-out-the-vote. One question is can the momentum help pull the State Legislature into the Republican column?
  • Finally, President Obama continues to sink with the latest headlines from a Quinnipiac survey declaring “Obama as Worst President since WWII.” How much the President’s problems hurt Democrats is still open, but then can’t help.
Beauprez’s first impression will be important, and Democrats will try to disable it as best as possible (see revival of 47% story). So, it will be a long four months and much can change, but, as of today, Governor John Hickenlooper is in a tough race.

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