A majority of Coloradans favor an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, and they support Democratic former Gov. John Hickenlooper over Republican incumbent Cory Gardner, according to a poll released Thursday evening.
The poll is the first Colorado measurement since House Democrats began their investigation two weeks ago into the president's dealings with Ukraine.
Hickenlooper still must dispatch eight challengers in the Democratic primary, but in a head-to-head with Gardner, he holds an 11-point edge, 53% to 42%, the the new Keating-OnSight-Martin (KOM) Colorado Poll says.
Of the 500 Coloradans polled Oct. 10-14, 31% identified as Democrats, 29% as Republicans and 39% said they were unaffiliated.
Gardner’s campaign declined to comment on the poll.
"Coloradans want a senator who puts people over partisanship, and they know that’s not Cory Gardner," Hickenlooper campaign spokeswoman Melissa Miller told Colorado Politics Thursday in response to the survey. "John Hickenlooper has a record of doing what’s right and getting results, and that’s the change Coloradans want in Washington. No matter what this or any other poll shows, John will do what he’s always done — go everywhere, talk to everyone and work hard for every vote."
The poll indicated 54% of voters statewide support the impeachment inquiry underway by Congress and 48% are already in favor of removing him from office. The poll found 44% oppose Trump’s ouster.
That tracks with a Gallup Poll released Wednesday that indicated 52% of Americans support impeaching Trump and removing him from office and 46% say he should not be.
The poll has ties to Democrats. Curtis Hubbard of OnSight Public Affairs is a Hickenlooper donor. Pollster Chris Keating of Keating Research typically works for Democrats, and Jake Martin of Martin Campaigns was the campaign manager for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock this year and was the Colorado campaign official for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Hubbard said “strong majorities” of Democrats and unaffiliated Colorado voters supported impeaching and removing Trump, especially in the suburban metro Denver counties.
“Taken together, that is a horrible combination for Republicans as the 2020 elections draw near,” Hubbard said in a statement.
The same poll indicates Trump is rated as unfavorable by 60% in Colorado and favorable by 38%.
Among those surveyed in the Denver-Broomfield-Boulder region, Gardner had only an 18% favorability to 62% with an unfavorable view on the incumbent. His strongest support came from the Colorado Springs region, with a 40% favorable to 33% unfavorable.
In a head-to-head matchup, Hickenlooper won the Denver-Broomfield-Boulder region 78% to 15%, and Gardner claimed the respondents from the Colorado Springs region 49% to 46%.
As for the Senate race, the pollsters said 45% of Colorado respondents had an unfavorable view of Gardner compared to just 34% who hold a favorable view, the largest gap for Gardner KOM has recorded.azx
In a KOM poll released on July 2, Gardner had 40% who saw him favorably and 39% unfavorably, and the rest said they didn't know or were unfamiliar with the Republican senator.
Since then, Gardner has weathered a blistering opposition campaign from Democrats — on the environment, health care, whether he schedules enough town hall meetings and all things Trump — as the party nationally is counting on the Colorado seat to flip and help them take a majority in the U.S. Senate.
“It’s no wonder Gardner is routinely called the most vulnerable incumbent senator in the country," Keating stated. “He’s barely above water with members of his own party, and the Trump anchor is pulling him beneath the surface with unaffiliated voters, whose support is a necessary ingredient for success in Colorado.”
Hickenlooper, who saw a presidential campaign fizzle out this year, opted to run for Senate two months ago. His favorability now is 51%, compared to 35% who hold an unfavorable view of the former governor.
“Hickenlooper is dominating Gardner among all of the key groups and areas needed to win statewide races in Colorado — women, unaffiliated voters, Latinos, suburban swing counties near Denver and college-educated voters,” Martin said in the statement. “There’s still 12 months until Election Day, but the headwinds facing Republicans are fierce.”
Pollsters talked to 500 Coloradans who identified themselves as likely voters in next year’s general election. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%.
Just before the 2016 election, the KOM Colorado Poll accurately predicted Clinton's win by 5% in Colorado. The poll last November indicated Democrat Jared Polis would win by 8 points, and he ultimately won by 10.6%.