Almost half of Colorado voters believe Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper does not deserve re-election next year, but voters still prefer him to all four possible GOP challengers.
According to a new Quinnipiac University poll conducted Nov. 15-18, 49 percent of 1,206 registered state voters surveyed said Hickenlooper should not be re-elected, compared to 42 percent who would still vote for him.
At the same time, however, 48 percent of respondents compared to 46 percent gave the Democrat a positive approval rating, and if the election were held today he would still beat every possible GOP challenger.
Among the Republicans mentioned as possible 2014 gubernatorial candidates, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo drew 41 percent support against Hickenlooper's 46 percent; Secretary of State Scott Gessler pulled 40 percent to the governor's 45 percent; State Sen. Greg Brophy drew 38 percent to Hickenlooper's 44 percent; and former State Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp picked up 40 percent to the Democrat's 44 percent.
Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, noted that Hickenlooper "does not have much room to breathe in the Rocky Mountain air, and certainly no clear sailing back to the statehouse."
"With the election a year away, he has slight leads over his Republican challengers and a mixed approval rating, but 9 in 10 voters list jobs as a top priority and the new gun control laws sit very badly with Colorado gun owners," Malloy added, indicating the hurdles the governor will have to overcome on his way to another term.
Opposition to the recent passage of tighter gun control laws was a key issue for survey respondents, with 55 percent saying they oppose the new laws enacted during his administration compared to 40 percent who support them.
Still, 85 percent of those surveyed said support requiring tougher background checks for all gun buyers, and 49 percent support a statewide ban on the sale of ammunition magazines holding more than 15 rounds.
"Voters don't like gun control, or maybe they don't like the words, 'gun control,'" Malloy said. But he suggested that Hickenlooper may be able to take comfort from the fact that there is "some support for limiting multi-round magazines, and overwhelming support for background checks."
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