Former Rep. Tom Tancredo's (R-Colo.) entry into the race for governor in Colorado has helped Democrat John Hickenlooper to a double-digit lead.
A new Rasmussen poll out Tuesday gives Hickenlooper 43 percent of the vote to Republican Scott McInnis's 25 percent. Tancredo is polling at 24 percent, running on the Constitution Party line.
The dramatic shift in the race is about more than just Tancredo. McInnis has plummeted in the polls since the Republican was accused of plagiarizing large sections of several articles he wrote for a nonprofit group.
McInnis has admitted some of his writings were not properly attributed to other sources, but he has forged ahead with his campaign for governor even amid signs that most of his support and fundraising have dried up.
McInnis' primary challenger, businessman Dan Maes, has problems of his own. Maes was recently fined more than $17,000 for campaign finance violations.
In a general election contest with Maes as the GOP nominee, Hickenlooper is still ahead by a large margin. He leads that matchup with 42 percent of the vote to 27 percent for Maes and 24 percent for Tancredo.
The poll surveyed 750 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus four percentage points.
In a Republican primary debate this past Sunday, both Maes and McInnis downplayed Tancredo's potential effect on the race. But it's clear the former congressman is poised to cause major problems for Republicans in Colorado this fall.
Tancredo is a former supporter of McInnis, but said he decided to enter the race because he no longer views either Republican contender capable of winning a general election in November.