Floyd Ciruli, the director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion at the University of Denver, and longtime Colorado political analyst Eric Sondermann, both blasted Hickenlooper’s poor effort thus far in the race.
Ciruli argued Hickenlooper lacks a clear message and his campaign’s refusal to engage Gardner is causing the former governor to lose ground.
Ciruli, the director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion at the University of Denver, wrote that he’s hearing that Hickenlooper’s “campaign is disorganized and losing ground. He appears to be trying to avoid engagement with Gardner and it’s creating an issue.”
The real blow from Ciruli’s analysis: “Hickenlooper appears remote and still without a short, clear message as to why he is running.”
By Sondermann’s account, Hickenlooper is a shell of his former self by employing a basement strategy that has effectively stripped the once energized former governor of any shred of authenticity.
“What we now see is a candidate who is over-scripted and over-managed with a surfeit of consultants,” Sondermann continued. “Early in Hickenlooper’s political rise, I described his appeal in a single word — authenticity. That characteristic, along with the sparkle and novelty, seem long gone. Nice work, handlers.”
Referring to Hickenlooper’s presidential run, he added this kicker: “He had thought himself ready for the White House and now evidently regards the Senate as a consolation prize to which he is entitled. He says his heart is into it, but his entire approach belies those words.”
Veteran political analyst Eric Sondermann says @CoryGardner is clearly running a superior campaign, while Hickenlooper appears lackadaisical and disinterested #cosen #copolitics pic.twitter.com/kO1q32lkcD
— CO Peak Politics (@COpeakpolitics) September 14, 2020
Recent data supports Ciruli and Sondermann’s criticisms, with a new poll from the AARP showing Gardner closing to within 5 points.
Hickenlooper staged several campaign stops last week in response to the tightening race.
But when Fox News reached out for an interview for their primetime “Special Report” show, Hick made a hasty retreat.
“Hickenlooper’s Communications Director said in an email to Fox News, ‘the ‘hiding’ claim is absolutely false,’ but declined to make him available.”
— Joanna Rodriguez (@joannamrod) September 11, 2020
Why can’t Hickenlooper emerge from the basement and take tough questions? His primary campaign was a highlight reel of gaffes and Hickenbloopers that seem to occur virtually every time he ventures out into public.
— Colorado Rising PAC (@CORisingPAC) May 15, 2020
— The Colorado GOP (@cologop) June 17, 2020
— Kyle Kohli (@CompassKohli) June 11, 2020
WATCH: “In the ethics case, the state paid your attorneys fees, given that you ignored the initial subpoena. Should you reimburse taxpayers for the legal fees?” #copolitics #Cosen pic.twitter.com/F0PEkA89k8
— The Colorado GOP (@cologop) June 11, 2020
We rest our case. As Hickenlooper once famously admitted, he’s not always the best spokesperson for his own ideas.
😂😂😂 Hickenlooper ‘I’m Not Always The Perfect Spokesperson For My Own Ideas’ pic.twitter.com/SaKIksTNB5
— Francis Brennan (@FrancisBrennan) July 2, 2019