Hick leads; Udall, Gardner tied. Haven’t we heard this all before?

The latest Colorado polls are out (more to come Thursday), and they look a lot like the last round of polls: John Hickenlooper has opened a safe lead over the four-headed Republican challenge, while Mark Udall and Cory Gardner are in a virtual tie.

Don’t be surprised if that’s how it looks for a while, despite all the TV ads that are already up. There’s a huge argument in the political-money world about how effective campaign advertising really is (see: Adelson, Sheldon; Bloomberg, Michael), but now at least we have a baseline.

In any case, the meaning is pretty clear.  Last year’s commie/pinko/radical/most-liberal-in-history legislative session doesn’t seem to be in play. Hickenlooper, the Democrat who signed all the bills, has the safe lead. Udall, the U.S. Senate Democrat who had nothing to do with all the bills, is tied with Cory Gardner, the U.S. House Republican who had nothing to do with all the bills.

The Quinnipiac poll has Hickenlooper leading Tom Tancredo 47-40, Scott Gessler  48-38, Mike Kopp 47-38, Bob Beauprez 48-39. Public Policy Polling (PPP) has Hickenlooper leading Tancredo 50-41, Gessler 48-41, Beauprez 48-41. It didn’t poll on Kopp.

So, that’s a 7-to-10 point lead for Hickenlooper despite guns, despite secession, despite Nathan Dunlap.

The Senate race, though, reflects the national divide and particularly the argument over Obamacare. (PPP has Udall leading 47-45, which is a virtual tie. The Q poll has Udall leading by a point. Still a virtual tie.) The early ads show how the campaign is going to play out, with, sadly, no surprises, unless you count the serious gaffe in the latest Americans for Prosperity anti-Udall, anti-Obamacare ad, in which they show Udall and Obama together, looking sad. The reason they look sad is that AFP chose photos of them at a hospital, together, visiting Aurora theater shooting victims.

Now, it turns out, AFP is sad. They have apologized and, they say, taken the offending part of the ad down. That will cost some money, but apparently the Koch brothers can afford it.

Democrats are going after Gardner on personhood, birth control and abortion – tying him to his early support of personhood and hammering home that Gardner’s conversion (because, he claims, he didn’t understand about contraception) doesn’t pass the laugh test. And as for Gardner’s allies in PAC-land, it’s all about Obamacare and cancellations. You have to hope that something dramatic happens besides a gaffe, so, at minimum, we can get a different kind of TV ad.

Meanwhile, we can draw two conclusions: Udall-Gardner reflects our purplish swing-state status; Hick-4 Heads reflects Hickenlooper’s popularity (51 percent is good for an incumbent these days) and the poor Republican field.

UPDATE: Rand Paul leads in the 2016 Colorado preview. He’s ahead of Hillary Clinton 48-43. Of course, that was pre-Bundygate.

 Clinton and Chris Christie are tied at 42-42. And Clinton has slight leads over Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee.

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.


  1. If Udall was (imo) smart and actually had a pair,
    he’d use the ever-increasing numbers of signups to double-down on the Affordable Care Act / “Obamacare” –

    step up and say “Hell YES” I proudly *support* the ACA – instead of trying to weasel his way around it.

    A little spunk and some k-rovian political jiu-jitsu would go a long way.

    Doubt he has the guts though, and that may be just what costs him a win against Gardner.

    So-called “Obamacare” appears to be morphing into a success – why the hell are Democrats running away from it, especially in purple state like CO?

  2. Great comment dirkle. I couldn’t agree more. I cringe at the thought of Gardner winning. In my opinion Gardner is as compromised as they come. Udall is not far behind however.

    Stand and be counted Senator Udall! Have the courage of your convictions and stand by your vote to pass the Affordable Care Act. Anything less is a slap in the face to those of us who voted for you and support the ACA.

    The Affordable Care Act will survive and eventually thrive as it “morphs”, as dirkle points out, into a successful benefit program for the American people.

  3. My husband and I were forced onto the colorado insurance. Instead of saving us $2500 per year, it is now costing us an extra $3600 per year for our premium, and prescriptions are 500% to 800% higher. Thanks Mark!
    A side note: my husband put this exact comment up on this article 2 days ago and now it is gone. Can’t have any opposing views here.

  4. Lyn2,
    We welcome your comments and all comments unless they’re particularly ill-mannered. We had a spam attack two days ago, which littered the site with comments that we took down. Sorry if your husband’s comment was accidentally removed. If you read the comments, you’ll see that there are plenty of critical ones. By the way, I have asked several people who have offered comments like yours on healthcare costs to send me details at mlittwin@www.coloradoindependent.com, but no one ever seems to follow up. I’d love to see yours. Again, sorry for the mixup. I haven’t removed any comments — which have been amazingly civil — since joining this site.

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