DENVER (AP) – Democratic Gov. Hickenlooper leads all GOP challengers by a handful of points and has broken away from his closest opponent, but 49 percent of Colorado voters don’t think he deserves re-election, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The Quinnipiac University poll put Hickenlooper’s approval at 48 percent, unchanged from the August.

“While he’s in the lead, he’s not overwhelmingly popular,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Hickenlooper leads former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo 46 percent to 41 percent after being statistically tied with him in August. Hickenlooper also has similar leads over the other Republican candidates – Secretary of State Scott Gessler, state Sen. Greg Brophy, and former state Sen. Mike Kopp.

The poll also showed 55 percent of voters disapprove of new gun restrictions, but they overwhelmingly favor background checks for all firearm purchases, which Hickenlooper signed into law this year. He also signed limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a fee to cover background checks, and tightened restrictions on gun ownership by domestic abusers.

Furor over the new gun laws led the recall ouster of two Democrats – Sens. John Morse and Angela Giron. Conservatives are trying to gather enough signatures to force the recall of another lawmaker, Sen. Evie Hudak. The poll showed voters statewide oppose the recall by a 49-38 margin.

The poll of 1,206 registered voters was taken from Nov. 15 to 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Hickenlooper’s support among Democrats remains strong, according to the poll. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats believe he deserves to be re-elected, while 84 percent of Republicans do not. The governor’s support among independent voters is more complicated. Fifty-two percent want to see him re-elected.

“You can’t say that Gov. Hickenlooper has a total green light in the state of Colorado,” Malloy said.

He added: “He’s not a wildly unpopular, nor a wildly popular governor.”

The Democratic-controlled Colorado Legislature also gets subpar marks, with 36 percent of voters approving of their job performance, and 51 percent disapproving.

Meanwhile, the poll showed Colorado voters support hydraulic-fracturing for oil and gas by a 51-34 percent margin. But support among men is stronger. Sixty percent of men support fracking, compared with 42 percent of women.

– By Ivan Moreno, AP Writer

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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