Bennet Hickenlooper Two SHot

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (left) and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, seen during their campaign swings through Iowa in February.

Colorado's John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet have been introducing themselves to Iowa voters, but a new state polls shows they have a way to go to make much of an impression.

The Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest newspaper, reports that among 20 declared or potential Democratic candidates for president, the former Colorado governor and the current Colorado senator rank well down in the pack.

The Register asked likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers to pick their first and second choice for president.

One percent named Bennet as their first choice and zero percent (after rounding) picked Hickenlooper. Both Coloradans were named as the second choice of 1 percent of those surveyed.

The front runners in the survey were former Vice President Joe Biden, the first choice of 27 percent, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, favored by 25 percent.

No other Democrat was in the double digits as a first choice in the poll, but several others garnered more support than the two Coloradans, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (the first choice of 9 percent), Sen. Kamala Harris of California (7 percent), former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas (5 percent), and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota (both at 3 percent).

However, the survey's margin of error means that the differences among Hickenlooper, Bennet and several other candidates in the middle of the pack are statistically insignificant.

The survey was conducted March 3-6, before Hickenlooper's swing through Iowa on Friday and Saturday. But Hickenlooper spent considerable time in Iowa before declaring himself a candidate March 4, and Bennet — who is pondering a 2020 White House run  has also visited.

When asked whether they viewed candidates favorably or unfavorably, 25 percent of Democrats surveyed said they viewed Hickenlooper very or mostly favorably, versus 11 percent with an unfavorable view. (In an earlier poll last December, the favorable-unfavorable spread was 24-9 percent.)

But 65 percent said they were "not sure" how they viewed the former governor, suggesting that many Iowa voters still don't know much about him.

As for Bennet, his favorability spread in the new survey was 18 percent favorable/7 percent unfavorable; 75 percent were not sure about him. (The December survey didn't ask about Bennet.)

The new survey for the Register, CNN and Mediacom was conducted by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines. For the ranking of Democrats, 401 likely caucus attendees were sampled. The estimated margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.


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