Hickenlooper is the second most popular governor in country

According to a poll released Thursday by Public Policy Polling, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is the second most popular governor in the country. Also, according to the poll, if an election were held today Senator Mark Udall would cruise to victory.

Hickenlooper trails only Mississippi’s Haley Barbour of those governors polled by PPP this year. 53% of voters approve of him to 23% who disapprove.

Democrats are pretty much unanimous in their support for Hickenlooper’s work (73/10) and independents are very positive as well (53/20), PPP said in an email. What really sets Hickenlooper apart from most of his colleagues across the country is that even with Republicans he comes pretty close to breaking even with 31% of them approving of him compared with 39% who disapprove. “It’s been a very successful first year for Hickenlooper in the court of public opinion,” said PPP’s Tom Jensen in an email.

Udall also has solid approval numbers with 41% of voters approving of him to 31% who disapprove. Udall was first elected in 2008 and will be up for reelection in 2014.

With no Senate race on the ballot in Colorado next year PPP took a very early look at how Udall would fare at this point against a pair of potential 2014 opponents. He leads Congressman Mike Coffman by 14 points, 48-34, and 2010 primary runner up Jane Norton by 17 points, 50-33.

Michael Bennet has a 38% approval rating with 33% of voters disapproving. Like Udall, 29% have no opinion about his job performance.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.