While Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper once was considered unbeatable, the blistering 2013 legislative session and Amendment 66 may have taken its toll, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll. The analysis by Tim Molloy, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute’s assistant director, shows that Hick may have overspent his political capital this year.
“Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper does not have much room to breathe 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.”
Hick’s uphill hike to the Capitol may have to do with the way Independents have drifted toward Republicans and away from Democrats in the gubernatorial race. He also may have some splaining to do on the issues. According to the poll, the following percentage of Coloradans rated these issues were rated “extremely important” or “very important”:
- Economy/jobs (89%)
- Education (77%)
- Gun policy (68%)
- Taxes (68%)
Looking at how respondents ranked issues, it’s no wonder Hick’s in trouble. He and his team at OnSight just ran circles around themselves trying to foist an economically damaging tax hike (Amendment 66) on Colorado at a time when Coloradans are intensely concerned about the economy and taxes. He also tried to pass off a union payout as education reform that Coloradans saw through and beat down.
Since June, Hick’s “deserves to be re-elected” has dropped 3% and “doesn’t deserve” is up 5%. Further, polling is about trend lines. Undecided movement on Hick’s approval has gone towards disapproval since the June poll. Amendment 66 may have been the perfect cocktail of all of Coloradans’ concerns wrapped up into one – economy, education, and taxes. Too bad for Hick – he was on the wrong side of these issues.