Most early polls in any race have not been kind to Democrats, which is not unexpected given the anti-incumbent sentiment nationwide. But as the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:
A new poll shows Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper leading the likely Republican nominee to be the next governor of Colorado.
A Rasmussen poll released Monday showed that the Denver Democrat leads former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis 49 percent to 45 percent.
A month ago, Rasmussen had McInnis in a three-point lead over Hickenlooper the day he entered the race for governor after Gov. Bill Ritter announced he was dropping out.
At that same time, McInnis held a six-point lead over U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who was briefly thought to be the lead contender immediately after Ritter ended his re-election campaign.
The poll said Hickenlooper remained the better-known candidate.
It showed that 35 percent of the 500 likely voters surveyed viewed the mayor very favorably, while 12 percent regarded him very unfavorably.
At the same time, McInnis was viewed favorably by 13 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 14 percent. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent…
We repeat our boilerplate disclaimer about putting too much stock into early polls. Nearly every poll done this far out from Election Day is fairly useless because the average voter doesn’t really know any of the candidates.
That said, and especially given what many consider to be Rasmussen’s built-in GOP biases, you can’t call this entirely insignificant. This is the first real poll on the Governor’s race since Rasmussen’s snap poll from a month ago, on the day Bill Ritter announced he would not run again, and can’t be relied upon as a benchmark; Hickenlooper wasn’t even a candidate yet.
And as we’ve said before — which most pollsters acknowledge — the most significant early numbers at this point in a campaign are the “very” favorable and unfavorable ratings. In order to rate someone as “very” favorable or unfavorable, you generally have to have somewhat of an informed opinion. Hickenlooper’s 35% “very favorable” rating is not good news for Republicans.