Thanks to women and independent voters, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper enjoys a comfortable lead over all four Republican contenders for his seat.
The closes challenger is former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who is 7 points behind in the latest poll from Quinnipiac University.
Pollsters credit Hickenlooper’s 47-40 percent lead over Tancredo to strong support among female voters, who prefer him 53-34 percent.
Independent voters also lean his way, although by a slimmer 44-39 percent margin.
“Strong support from women and an edge among independent voters give Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper a solid foothold in his reelection effort,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, in a press release.
“Meanwhile, the Republican contenders are looking for a handhold to pull themselves up in the Rocky Mountain State.”
Hickenlooper also bests Secretary of State Scott Gessler 48-38 percent; former state Sen. Mike Kopp 47-38 percent; and former Congressman Bob Beauprez 48-39 percent.
Hickenlooper has a cumulative 51-37 percent favorability rating, scoring poorly only among Republican voters and splitting the male vote 44-45 percent. His favorability has climbed steadily in the poll since last summer, when he only scored 45 percent favorability in June.
Hickenlooper also seems to have the best name recognition among the candidates for governor, with only 10 percent telling pollsters they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
Republican candidates fare worse in that category, with 37 percent saying they don’t know enough about Tancredo; 52 percent in the dark about Beauprez; 65 percent unfamiliar with Gessler; and 77 percent not knowing enough about Kopp.
The poll also asked voters about gun laws and school safety. As in past polls, most are opposed to Colorado’s strict new gun laws, which Hickenlooper supported, but are overwhelmingly in support of universal background checks, 85-14 percent.
Voters also overwhelmingly support installing metal detectors in schools, by 74-20 percent. About half support arming teachers and school staff.
“In large numbers, Colorado voters want metal detectors in the doorways of schools, and half of voters want teachers and school officials armed in the interest of keeping kids safe,” Malloy said.
The poll did not ask Republican voters which candidates they prefer to take on Hickenlooper in November.
“Because we will be unable to poll closer to the primary, we did not want to have a single poll too early in the process when voters are not fully aware of the candidates,” Malloy said in an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The primary is June 24.
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