Hickenlooper Holding On To Double Digit Lead In Colorado’s US Senate Primary

June 26, 2020 by Gaspard Le Dem
Then Democratic presidential candidate former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, in Des Moines, Iowa. Hickenlooper was supposed to be Democrats' worry-free solution to the Colorado Senate race, but he's stumbled badly in the weeks leading up to the party's June 30 primary. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

WASHINGTON – New polling shows former Governor John Hickenlooper taking a dominant lead over Andrew Romanoff in Colorado’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, just days before voters cast their ballots on June 30.

In a survey published on Thursday by Survey USA, 58% of respondents said they would vote for Hickenlooper, while just 28% favored Romanoff. The poll, which interviewed 1,650 adults between June 19 and June 24, had a margin of error of roughly 6%.

The results indicate that Hickenlooper, a fixture of Colorado politics who served two terms as the mayor of Denver and ran an unsuccessful bid for president last year, is holding on to his lead despite a series of missteps in the last few weeks that have threatened to derail his campaign.

Earlier in June, an independent ethics commission found he violated a state gift ban twice in 2018 by accepting a limousine ride at a conference in Italy, and a flight to Connecticut on a private jet. The commission has fined him a total of $2,750 for the infractions.

Romanoff, a former speaker in Colorado’s House of Representatives, quickly seized on the ethics violation to attack Hickenlooper in a television ad which aired for the first time last week.

“You gotta ask yourself, why does John Hickenlooper take so many showers?” the ad says, mocking a viral Hickenlooper ad from 2010 that shows the candidate taking a fully-clothed shower. The voiceover suggests he is showering to wash away all manner of transgressions.

Romanoff is running on a progressive platform that prioritizes fighting climate change, expanding healthcare, and ending tax breaks for large corporations. 

Colorado’s race for U.S. Senate is seen as a top priority for Democrats as they try to wrest control from Republicans in the upper chamber this November. 

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation as one of two GOP senators running for re-election in a state that leans Democratic. In 2014, he narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Udall by less than two points.

His approval ratings are among the worst in the Senate, indicating that voters have soured on his performance despite efforts to position himself as someone who can work across the aisle.

Gardner has recently been working on rehabilitating his image by touting his response to the coronavirus, highlighting his work to obtain COVID-19 tests and masks for the state.

Meanwhile, Hickenlooper has raised impressive sums in campaign contributions, allowing him to launch a barrage of ads against both Gardner and Romanoff.

According to recent filings by the Federal Election Commission, the former governor has raised more than $12 million, and has already spent more than half of it. In comparison, Romanoff has raised less than $3 million, and has just $800,000 in cash on hand. 

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