-Michael Bennet appears to have have received a post reelection approval bounce. For the first time in more than two years PPP finds him with positive numbers at 42% of voters happy with the job he's doing to 40% who dissent. The weekend before he was reelected we found Bennet at a 39/47 approval spread so he's seen a good deal of improvement since then. The main reason for Bennet's enhanced standing is how independents feel about him, giving him a 44/34 approval.
-You might wonder though if Bennet was so unpopular in late October how he managed to get reelected. One question we asked on this poll gives a clue to the answer of that question- 45% of Colorado voters think Buck was too conservative, compared to just 38% who characterize his ideology as 'about right.' At the end of the day Buck's perceived extremism ended up outweighing Bennet's lack of popularity with the folks who turned out to vote last fall.
-John Hickenlooper's off to a good start as Governor with 52% of voters approving of him to only 23% who disapprove, with 24% unsurprisingly expressing no opinion given how new he is to office. Most striking in Hickenlooper's numbers is his 52% approval with independents compared to just 14% of them who disapprove of him. He's not terribly popular with Republicans but his 22% approval with them at least exceeds what Bennet or Mark Udall can claim.
-Speaking of Udall, despite Bennet's recent bump the state's senior Senator still remains its most popular Senator. 45% of voters approve of Udall's job performance to 35% who disapprove. As is usually the case these days Democrats pretty universally like him and Republicans pretty universally don't. Tipping the balance in his favor is a 41/29 spread with independents.
-Perhaps the most mentioned person on the Republican side as a future challenger to Udall or Hickenlooper is Attorney General John Suthers. For now he is not terribly well known to the state's voters. 54% say they have no opinion about him and those who do are split pretty evenly with 22% rating him favorably and 24% saying they have an unfavorable opinion of him. He may prove to be formidable candidate for higher office some day but for most voters in the state the time when he makes that bid will be their first real exposure to him.
-Ken Salazar is avoiding the Obama cabinet curse that has Janet Napolitano's numbers in the tank in neighboring Arizona. He remains popular on the home front with 47% of voters expressing a favorable opinion of him to 37% with a negative one.
Full results here