Poll shows Ritter with edge over Beauprez
DENVER – Democrat Bill Ritter likely would defeat either of two Republican candidates for governor if the election were held now, according to a Denver Post poll published Friday.But if Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper were a candidate, he likely would win by even wider margins, according to the poll.The poll was commissioned before Hickenlooper announced Monday he would not join the race.Ritter led U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Colo., by 43 percent to 37 percent, with 20 percent undecided. Ritter led Republican Marc Holtzman by 19 percentage points, 43 percent to 24 percent, with 33 percent undecided.Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. conducted the random telephone survey of 625 registered voters Monday through Wednesday. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.The poll showed Hickenlooper leading Beauprez 48 percent to 32 percent with 20 percent undecided, and leading Holtzman 49 percent to 25 percent with 26 percent undecided.”This race is far from settled,” said Brad Coker, managing director of the polling firm, citing the large numbers of undecided respondents in the Ritter-Beauprez matchup. “It appears neither one has really established themselves with voters.”The poll showed Beauprez likely would defeat the other declared Democratic candidate, state Rep. Gary Lindstrom of Breckenridge, 37 percent to 26 percent, with 37 percent undecided, while Lindstrom had an edge on Holtzman, 29 percent to 25 percent with 46 percent undecided.Of the 625 voters questioned, 223 were Democrats, 252 Republican and 150 unaffiliated.Forty-six percent of women surveyed said they would vote for Ritter, who has been criticized by some Democrats for his stance against abortion, compared with 31 percent for Beauprez. Forty-three percent of men said they would vote for Beauprez, while 40 percent backed Ritter.The results suggest that the split over Ritter’s position on abortion among Democrats was not as wide as some believed, said political analyst Eric Sondermann.”It shows that the angst and outright hostility among a narrow cadre of activist Democrats is not a broader symptom,” he said. “It also indicates that this ultimately has the makings of a very, very competitive race.”Ritter’s spokesman, Evan Dreyer, said the results were consistent with the campaign’s internal polling. Beauprez’s campaign spokesman, John Marshall, said the campaign had always expected a tough race.No numbers were cited for a head-to-head race between Ritter and Hickenlooper.
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