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Ciruli Associates Poll
Ritter and Hickenlooper Dominate Colorado Political Landscape
Analysis by Floyd Ciruli
Colorado voters, when asked to rate the state’s leading political figures, give Governor Bill Ritter and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper their highest favorability rating. Ritter receives a favorable or very favorable rating from 75 percent of voters. Nearly two-thirds (64%) rate Hickenlooper similarly.
Question: Let me ask you your rating of local and national political leaders. As I read the following list of political leaders, please tell me your impression of each one as very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable. If you aren’t familiar with a name, or don’t have an opinion, just say so. [Rotated] Q45-52
The latest statewide survey was conducted September 12-15, 2007 with 504 Colorado voters by Ciruli Associates. The political questions were part of a survey concerning economic development sponsored by the Economic Development Council of Colorado. The statistical range of error is +4.4 percentage points. The 2006 survey was conducted September 26 to October 2, 2006 for the EDCC with 500 Colorado voters.
Comparison of 2006 and 2007 Ratings
Voters who could not rate Ritter dropped from 34 percent before last October’s election to only 11 percent today. One-quarter of statewide voters don’t know Hickenlooper the percentages increasing the farther voters live from the metro Denver area.
In general, federal officials receive lower favorability ratings than Colorado-based leaders. They are usually less well known and tend to deal with highly partisan issues. U.S. Senators Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard had positive ratings in the 50 percent range. Salazar is better known, but also has a higher negative rating than Allard.
President George W. Bush anchors the rating scale with a career low of 43 percent favorable, down slightly from last September’s poll.
U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo’s presidential campaign has had an impact on voter awareness. He increased his awareness among Coloradoans by 10 percentage points since last year and his favorability rating jumped 9 points. Twenty-eight percent of voters rated him unfavorably.
U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall (Democrat) and Bob Schaffer (Republican) have the lowest statewide awareness. In fact, nearly half of the electoral could not rate Schaffer (45%). But the candidates had similar favorability ratings of 44 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
Pollster Floyd Ciruli observed, “Democrats are dominating the political landscape in 2007. Ritter has established himself as the party and state leader. Surprisingly, Hickenlooper, the mayor of the often disparaged City and County of Denver, is in a strong second-place in position. Salazar is Colorado’s top-rated federal official.”
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Ciruli Associates is a non-partisan research firm providing polling, election analysis and political commentary to Colorado and national media organizations since 1976.