Hickenlooper leads Colorado primary rival Romanoff by 30 points: poll

Former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat Willie Nelson playing at virtual fundraiser for Hickenlooper MORE (D) has a 30-point lead over Democratic rival Andrew Romanoff ahead of their Senate primary next week, according to a new poll.

Hickenlooper, who led the Centennial State for two terms, is leading a new SurveyUSA poll with 58 percent among likely primary voters ahead of the June 30 primary. Romanoff, a former speaker of the Colorado House who is running a more progressive campaign, trails at 28 percent. Another 15 percent say they are undecided. 

The lead comes as Hickenlooper has found himself playing defense against attacks from Republicans over ethics charges, which have also been seized on by Romanoff. The winner of the primary would face Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBillionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat MORE (R) in November, who's considered one of the most vulnerable GOP senators.

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Hickenlooper also appears to have an enthusiasm edge over Romanoff among their respective supporters. Of the former governor’s backers, 57 percent say they are voting for him enthusiastically and 33 percent are voting with reservations, while 50 percent of Romanoff’s backers are voting for him enthusiastically and 43 percent say they have reservations. 

The former governor also has a 36-point lead among self-identified moderates, a 31-point advantage among self-identified liberals and a 19-point edge among those who say they are “very liberal.”

Hickenlooper was cited for contempt earlier this month for initially declining to appear virtually before Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission. He was then fined $2,750 for two violations of a rule barring officials from accepting gifts during his time as governor. He’s also had to backtrack on comments he made about race, including saying at a recent forum that “every life matters,” echoing the common “all lives matter” refrain from the GOP.

Romanoff has used the Republican attacks on ethics charges to argue Hickenlooper could put the must-win Senate race in peril for Democrats.

“Look, John Hickenlooper just wrote the Republicans’ ad against him twice now,” Romanoff said in the debate with Hickenlooper this month. “The truth is that John Hickenlooper represents a threat that we cannot afford.”

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Republicans have also spent a combined $2 million against Hickenlooper in the three weeks leading up to the primary, slated for Tuesday.

Democrats are dropping millions of dollars in a new ad blitz to try to boost Hickenlooper after the stumbles. The Senate Majority PAC, which seeks to elect Democrats to the Senate, will spend $2.2 million backing Hickenlooper in the two weeks before the primary. 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the Colorado Senate race as a “toss up.”

The SurveyUSA poll surveyed 575 likely primary voters from June 19-24 and has a credibility interval of 6 percentage points.