The tepid showing by the gun-law-repeal boys (and girls) the other day at a state Senate committee hearing was a clue that that the gun issue might be cooling.
Now, there’s another one. In the latest Quinnipiac poll, John Hickenlooper — usually called in these post-recall days the “suddenly vulnerable John Hickenlooper” — doesn’t look quite so vulnerable any more. His job approval rating is 52-39. And though the numbers are even — 45-45 — when asked whether he should be re-elected, Hick has significant leads on each of the principals in the Republican field (no debate there).
And in our mixed-message poll number of the day: while most Coloradans oppose the gun laws passed last year — by a 52-43 margin– most of them favor the individual laws (86-13 on universal background checks; 50-47 on magazine capacity limits).
In the fun stat of the day, Tom Tancredo’s approval rating is 25 percent.
What does it all mean — other than the fact that Tancredo (repeat after me) cannot win in a statewide race?
Polls this far out don’t mean much, except as trends. The poll shows that Hick is vulnerable still on guns, on education (see: Amendment 66 debacle) and the death penalty, although it’s hard to see how that will be a major issue in November. But he’s strong on the economy and a 52-39 job approval these days is a pretty big number.
Here are the stats on the individual matchups:
Hickenlooper 46, Scott Gessler 40.
Hickenlooper 48, Tancredo 39.
Hickenlooper 47, Mike Kopp 38.
Hickenlooper 47, Greg Brophy 37.
Gessler is running closest to Hickenlooper, but the difference among the Republicans is not statistically significant. Conventional wisdom holds that Tancredo is the front-runner – he has raised the most money — but conventional wisdom (see: Broncos) is not exactly a sure thing.
In August, Tancredo trailed Hickenlooper by only a point. The change from one point to nine might be significant, but the August number probably said a lot more about Hickenlooper and his troubles than it did about Tancredo.
The big issue for Republicans now is whether to debate each other. Tancredo and Gessler say they have both dropped out of all intra-party debates, meaning there will basically be no debates, meaning they’ve tossed away a bunch of free media, meaning they must not have seen these poll numbers.