A poll of likely Colorado voters released Thursday by a consortium of Colorado-based, Democratic-aligned firms, shows Democrat John Hickenlooper with a double-digit lead over Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, and Joe Biden ahead by a comfortable margin over President Donald Trump.
The Keating-OnSight-Melanson survey, conducted Oct. 8-13, found Hickenlooper up 10 points over Gardner, 51% to 41%, with 7% undecided, nearly duplicating the results of two nonpartisan polls released in the last week by Colorado Politics/9News and Morning Consult.
Trump trails Biden among likely Colorado voters by 15 points, 54% to 39%, with 4% undecided, the poll found, suggesting the state's nine electoral votes will go to the Democratic nominee for the fourth presidential election in a row. Biden dominates Trump in the crucial suburban counties surrounding Denver, where he's polling 23 points ahead of Trump, 58% to 35%, with 5% undecided.
“Trump’s path to defeat is a sight to behold," said pollster Chris Keating, of Keating Research, in a statement. "He’s overwhelmingly disliked by Hispanic and younger voters — and he’s doing worse with voters over age 50 than he did four years ago. He’s not popular with women overall, suburban women in particular, or suburban voters in general. Add all that up, and Trump is headed for a classic yard-sale on election day.”
The results in the Senate race are nearly the same as a KOM poll conducted by the same firms a year ago, when Hickenlooper led Gardner by 11 points, 53% to 42%.
Keating told Colorado Politics that Gardner's standing with the state's electorate appears to be bound with Trump's unpopularity in Colorado, which has been remarkably consistent since early 2018. According to the most recent poll, 60% of state voters give the president a thumbs down, compared to 39% who view him favorably, and fully half of respondents asked to grade Trump give the Republican an "F."
The online survey of 519 respondents has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.3 percentage points.
By a wide margin, Colorado voters say the president who wins the election in November should nominate a Supreme Court justice to fill the seat left vacant last month by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with 60% wanting a delay and 40% wanting the seat filled sooner.
With Gardner's support, the GOP-controlled Senate is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Trump's nominee, conservative Judge AmyConey Barrett, in the coming weeks, before the Nov. 3 election.
By a two-to-one margin, Colorado voters say they believe Trump "acted irresponsibly in his handling of the risk of infecting the people around him with the coronavirus," with 62% agreeing and 31% disagreeing with the statement. The numbers are similar to the 61% who disapprove of the president's handling of the pandemic, compared to 35% who approve.
Voters' views of Gov. Jared Polis' response to the pandemic are almost a mirror image of their impressions about Trump, with 62% saying they approve of the job the Democrat is doing and 27% disapproving.
Asked which issues or problems the president and Congress should act on next year, 29% of voters said the pandemic tops their list, followed by 23% who said the economy. Health care came in third, with 8%, followed by racial justice and police reform at 4% and the environment and climate, also at 4%.
Democratic strategist Mike Melanson, whose firm was involved in the poll released Thursday, said the contrast isn't a surprise.
“Unsuccessfully wishing a pandemic away, stifling scientists and willfully ignoring the recommendations of public health experts is, not surprisingly, an unpopular stance for the President of the United States,” Melanson said in a statement. “Conversely, we continue to see strong voter support for Gov. Polis’ honest, data- and best-practices driven response.”
The poll found Colorado voters overwhelmingly support keeping same-sex marriage legal, upholding Roe v. Wade and upholding the Affordable Care Act. Asked about topics that could come before a new Supreme Court with a strong conservative majority, those polled said they support same-sex marriage 75% to 25%, want to maintain the precedent that legalized abortion 70% to 30% and want the legislation known as Obamacare kept on the books by 58% to 42%.
Joe Jackson, spokesman for the Colorado Republican Party, dismissed the poll's results.
"John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Democrats can hang their hat on any paid partisan poll they want. If polls mattered, then Hillary Clinton would be president today," he told Colorado Politics. "Meanwhile, Colorado Republicans have made over 7 million voter contacts and aren't taking anything for granted before Nov. 3."
The Colorado Democratic Party's David Pourshoushtari, took a contrary view.
“The numbers speak for themselves," he said in a statement. "In Colorado, we’re seeing turnout for early voting at record levels, and this new poll confirms that the energy and enthusiasm to elect Joe Biden and John Hickenlooper is rising. Colorado voters are fed up with Donald Trump and Cory Gardner’s attacks on our health care and soundly reject their efforts to ram through an anti-health care, anti-choice Supreme Court nominee."