The Denver Post recently released the results of a SurveyUSA poll that found the issue of the death penalty is not a major consideration for Colorado voters: 130430052931_dunlap1

47 percent say it’s a minor factor, and their support is split between the candidates, the pollster says.

The paper concludes, based on these poll results, that “the issue may lack bite” despite being front and center in the governor’s race.

We respectfully have to disagree with their analysis.

Hickenlooper’s decision to grant mass murder Nathan Dunlap clemency wasn’t just about whether or not capital punishment should be legal. So, how much that one issue motivates voters is largely irrelevant.

What is at issue here is that Hick’s handling of the Dunlap case underscores his failure to lead. His whole campaign is being built on his ability to “find solutions,” but all he did in the Dunlap case was kick the can down the road.

That is how Republicans are messaging this issue, and that is why it is effective. They’re not using it to spark a larger examination of capital punishment, they’re using it to demonstrate how Hickenlooper let down the people of Colorado.