Quinnipiac poll has Beauprez edging Hickenlooper in governor’s race

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, faces Republican Bob Beauprez this fall.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, faces Republican Bob Beauprez this fall.

DENVER — A poll by Quinnipiac University shows the governor’s race is in a virtual dead heat less than four months before election day.

Republican challenger Bob Beauprez is at 44 percent with Gov. John Hickenlooper at 43 percent, well within the margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points in the poll, which was released Wednesday morning.

READ THE POLL: Quinnipiac governor’s race poll

But the bigger concern for Hickenlooper is his job approval rating, which plunged since the last Quinnipiac poll in April. Voters give the governor a 48 percent approval with 46 percent disapproving. But in April, Hickenlooper’s job approval was at 51 percent, and that poll had him beating Beauprez 48 percent to 39 percent.

A poll Tuesday by NBC News/Marist College had Hickenlooper leading Beauprez 49 percent to 43 percent.

The Quinnipiac poll shows 64 percent of voters say the economy in the state is “excellent” or good,” while 49 percent said it’s getting better. Twelve percent said it’s getting worse.

“Coloradans seem generally optimistic about the future and confidant in the state’s economy, but that is certainly not enough to open the way for a smooth ride to reelection for Gov. John Hickenlooper,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll. “Is former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez enjoying a bounce after his Republican primary win or is he a real challenge to the Democratic incumbent?”

Twenty percent of voters said the economy/jobs was the most important issue in deciding who they will cast their ballot for, with 9 percent saying gun issues and 6 percent saying education or education funding.

Women favored Hickenlooper 48 percent to 40 percent, men favored Beauprez 48 percent to 37 percent, and independents were split, with 41 percent favoring Beauprez and 40 percent for the governor.