Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hickenlooper still up big

John Hickenlooper continues to hold a large lead in his quest to be Colorado's next Governor, polling at 47% to 33% for Tom Tancredo and 13% for Dan Maes. But there are at least a few small rays of hope for Tancredo in the poll.

First the argument for why Hickenlooper continues to be an overwhelming favorite. Even though his driver's seat status in this race is generally attributed to the split in the Republican ranks the truth remains that he's one of the most popular candidates running for Governor anywhere in the country this year. He has a 51/37 favorability rating in a time when very few politicians are cracking that 50% mark and that includes a 56/29 spread with the independent voters who are down on most every other politician in the state.

That popularity is translating into a 50-35 advantage with independents for Hickenlooper and he does continue to benefit from the division among Republican voters- 56% of them are now planning to vote for Tancredo while 24% are sticking with Maes. Hickenlooper meanwhile has his party pretty much locked up, taking 84% of the Democratic vote.

Now the faint ray of hope for Tancredo. Our polling suggests that Hickenlooper is stuck- his 47% share of the vote now is down slightly from right before the primary when it was 48%. And Tancredo is starting to consolidate the Republican vote a little more in his column- compared to our last poll he's gained 11 points and Maes has dropped 10. The total vote for Tancredo and Maes adds up to 46%, so if the trend continues of Maes voters defecting to Tancredo over the next four weeks this has the potential to get a whole lot tighter. And although there are not a lot of undecideds left in the race they lean strongly Republican- they report having voted for John McCain by a 66-22 margin in 2008.

I'd put the chances of a Tancredo victory somewhere around 10%. Very low but up from zero which is where I would have put them a couple months ago. Even though some factors in the race are moving in his favor the truth remains that he's not a popular figure in the state, with 45% of voters viewing him unfavorably to only 35% with a positive opinion.

Those favorability numbers do though put him in a lot better position than Maes who has to be the worst candidate for Senate or Governor in the country this side of Alvin Greene. Just 12% of voters see Maes favorably to 58% with an unfavorable view. It's a feat to make yourself that unpopular.

Hickenlooper continues to be a strong favorite but this race is worth keeping an eye on in the final month- it could end up being more interesting than people are expecting.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

In an attempt to frame Dan Maes over a 25 year old story, the Denver Post ended up eating their own words after finding out that Maes was telling the truth and did indeed work undercover with the KBI. If your trying to frame someone, you'd better have a reliable source. With that DP created scandal, Tancredo found an opening to run. The problem now is that Dan Maes is regaining support from his base and the Republican party after voters found out the scandal was a lie. That is the reason Tancredo met with Dan Maes in Morrison to convince him to drop out because Tom's numbers are dropping. If you run on a lie you die on the vine and in the case of Tancredo he just handed Hickenlooper an easy win.

yokem55 said...

Looking at the overall favorability situation though makes it pretty clear that Tancredo has a very steep climb to get to the point where Hickenlooper would have to be seriously worried. Having 45% of the electorate seeing you unfavorably and only 35% with a favorable impression, with 4 weeks to go is a very long row to hoe, especially with someone as well known as Tancredo. I don't doubt that things will continue to tighten up, but Hickenlooper will probably still win by 10+%.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"The problem now is that Dan Maes is regaining support from his base and the Republican party after voters found out the scandal was a lie."

When was this? Because if he has improved among the base recently, he must have hit almost zero support sometime between the primary and last weekend when we polled the state. His GOP support is half what it was in August, with Tancredo up 2:1 over him among Republicans and Hickenlooper even getting just 10% less than Maes. A quarter of the GOP vote switched from Maes to Tancredo in two months.

Anonymous said...

Dustin Ingalls;

Actually it was just in a couple of weeks, not months when Tancredo pulled Republican support when Maes hit rock bottom. That's how fluid the situation became. The Republican Party and the Tea Party are in complete disarray in Colorado by misinformation created by the local media, Tancredo and state Republican RINO's. The Democrats goal was to use the press and crazy Tancredo to keep the Republicans and independents off balance. Since the Republican Party of Colorado has no backbone, it was easy.

Anonymous said...

Interesting result considering the strong liberal lean of the independents in your Colorado sample.

I would bet that on election day Colorado will see what pollsters are seeing nationally -- independents leaning very strongly toward Republicans, and conservative indies turning out in much higher numbers than left leaners.

KWP said...

Anonymous... you are out of you head.
The document dump by Maes did anything but back up his story.

The only thing it collaborated was that he was at one time a police officer.

He did not work undercover, the comments in those documents show that he simply happened to have some kind of relationship with some folks that were being investigated.

The fact that they said "tell us if you see or hear anything" (paraphrasing) does not a secret agent make.

KWP said...

As well my Anonymous friend,
going from 15% to 16% and today to 13% is not regaining your support.

wt said...

Tancredo can't unify the GOP because the party in CO is still behind Maes, for a very important reason. If Maes doesn't get 10% (and it's looking close in that regard), the party will really take it on the chin, because they'll become a minor party in CO for two cycles (2012 and 2014).

The Colorado GOP would rather hand this year's race to Hickenlooper than have minor-party status for all of their candidates in 2012 and 2014. So Hickenlooper is safe.

Dustin Ingalls said...

wt: Really? Ballot status depends on the gubernatorial race alone, not the Senate or other races?

Cindy said...

Where are they going to poll? Denver? Of course Maes would not poll well if done in his opponents home towns.

FYI: Maes has trailed (or thought to be trailing) in all of his polls prior to his 4 major wins.

Dan Maes won all for of the following:
1. Caucuses
2. State Assembly
3. Primaries
4. Governor's poll: 9-12 & Tea Party groups

I smell a smear campaign. And if Tancredo gets any closer Hickenlooper is going to unleash his dirt on Tancredo. All Maes will have to do then is stay positive.

wt said...

I know, crazy, right?

The article says it will affect even the 2012 presidential race. That would give you guys a huge advantage there.

Maes is a trainwreck, but if the election is 90% lost anyway, I think Republicans need to vote for him to preserve their ballot status.

Also, FYI, it's looking certain that Tancredo will get 10%, meaning the Constitution party *will* be a major party for the next two cycles (which could also siphon votes from the GOP).

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Where are they going to poll?"

Who's 'they'?

Anonymous said...

The ballot position/minor party argument to vote for Maes is very weak - I imagine if the GOP regains control of the CO Legislature, they could simply change the law on that next year if Maes fails to gain 10% of the vote (which I think is very likely...).

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