Republican candidate Dan Maes has gained on Democrat John Hickenlooper in the latest poll from Reuters/Ipsos, and now trails him by only 8 percentage points, 41-33 percent. Tom Tancredo is running a distant third at 16 percent. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. And, in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, the poll shows Hickenlooper and Maes tied 45-45.
The Reuters poll also shows a four percentage point narrowing of the spread between Hickenlooper and Maes since the Rasumussen survey conducted on August 11, the day after the primary. That poll, with the same margin of error, showed Hickenlooper 43, Maes 31, and Tancredo 18.
Though the Maes campaign has not yet commented on the poll, my read is that long-delayed critical coverage of Hickenlooper’s mismanagement of the Denver Police Department has resonated with voters. Though the polling was conducted August 20-22, the scandal has been erupting for the past two weeks.
Today, the Hick’s childishly defensive police chief, Gerald Whitman, made a front page story where his tears practically oozed from the Denver Post’s home page, and was mocked in an opinion piece by Denver Post Editor Chuck Plunkett. All of this follows on the heels of the resignation of Denver Police Department Safety Manager Ron Perea over several beating and perjury incidents by Denver Police officers in which Perea went against investigative recommendations and gave wrist slaps that Hickenlooper had defended before becoming embroiled in electoral turmoil.