Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Delphi on the 2006 Governors race.

In a new Ciruli Associates poll, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) polled extremely well. He had a higher positive to negative ratio than any other official mentioned in the poll, including Democratic Senator Ken Salazar, Republican Governor Bill Owens and President Bush.

Overall, Senator Salazar had the highest favorable rating; 71%. He was followed by Governor Owens who had a favorable rating of 66%, Mayor Hickenlooper with a rating of 61%, President Bush with 54%, Republican Senator Wayne Allard with 53% and CU Professor Ward Churchill with 11%.

Front Range voters, which comprise about 80 percent of Colorado's electorate, have an overwhelmingly positive view of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. Sixty-one percent of voters rate him favorably, and his positive-to-negative ratio is more than 10-to-1, exceeding that of many of the state’s leading politicians and President George W. Bush...Hickenlooper achieved his 61 percent favorable score despite of more than a third (34%) of voters not being familiar with him.

Recently, a campaign has sprung up to "draft Hick." Some pundits have been talking up Hickenlooper for weeks, such as Colorado Luis and Colorado Pols.

Hickenlooper appears to be strong not only in the City and County of Denver, where he recently polled in the low 90s, but also in the entire metro region. According to Ciruli:

Hickenlooper scores his highest favorability rating (75%) in the Denver metro area where he also is very well-known (only 19% can’t rate him). Nearly half of northern Colorado voters are unable to rate him and 78 percent of southern Colorado voters are unfamiliar with him. Because his negative-to-positive rate is high in the North and South Front Ranges, as more voters become familiar with him, his ratings should improve, at least under current circumstances.

It appears that if Hickenlooper runs the early battle will be to define him.

Additionally, it remains to be seen how "favorability" correlates to actual election results. Ken Salazar, who leads the poll with a favorability rating of 71% only received 51% of the vote in last year's Senate race against beer baron Pete Coors.

Cross posted at Polstate.

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