The Quinnipiac University Poll Release Detail is at the link.
"Poll: Coloradans back death penalty, disapprove of Dunlap reprieve," is by Chuck Plunkett at the Denver Post.
Coloradans said that the death penalty will be an important factor when they cast ballots in next year's governor's race, and also harbor strong disapproval of the state legislature, according to a wide-ranging national independent poll released Thursday.
In the poll conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 74 percent of residents say that the issue over the state's death penalty will be either "very important" or "somewhat important" in a contest where Republicans will be vying to unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
In May, Hickenlooper granted an indefinite reprieve to Nathan Dunlap, a convicted murder who killed four people at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese in 1993. Dunlap was scheduled to be executed in August.
The poll found that 67 percent of Coloradans disapprove of Hickenlooper's decision to grant the reprieve to Dunlap, compared to 27 percent who approve of it.
"The governor has made it clear that certainly on his watch it doesn't appear anyone is going to be executed in this state, and that's an important point," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute.
The AP filing is, "Poll shows strong Colorado support for death penalty," by Nicholas Riccardi. It's via the Coloradoan.
Hickenlooper was a rare Democrat elected during the Republican wave year of 2010, and has positioned himself as a nonpartisan centrist. But he ended up in an increasingly partisan corner after Democrats retook the statehouse in November and muscled through a number of contentious measures, including a package of new gun control laws. That could be taking a toll on Hickenlooper’s ratings. The poll said 49 percent of voters disapprove of the Legislature and only 36 percent approve.
Democrats have won the past three gubernatorial elections in Colorado. The state remains evenly split between Democrats, Republicans and independents. Republicans and independents overwhelmingly support the death penalty, by 87-11 and 73-21 margins, respectively, the poll suggested. Democrats support it more narrowly, 49-41.
The poll indicated voters narrowly approve of Hickenlooper’s performance as governor, 47 percent to 43 percent. But the governor is struggling with independents. Only 44 percent approve while 47 percent disapprove.
The poll of 1,065 registered voters was taken from June 5-11 with live telephone interviews on landlines and cellphones. It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
National Journal posts, "Poll: Tancredo Ties Sliding Hickenlooper in Colorado," by Scott Bland.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,065 registered voters from June 5-10. The poll's margin of error is plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. Only 24 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats, nine percentage points lower than the share that turned out in 2010, according to exit polls. Still, the survey reveals that the governor is suffering with independents, 47 percent of whom disapprove of Hickenlooper, compared to 44 percent who approve. However, Hickenlooper actually lost independents to Tancredo in 2010, despite beating Tancredo by nearly 15 percentage points overall; the Republican ticket led by businessman Dan Maes captured only 11 percent of the vote.
The new poll also suggests it's no stretch to draw a line between Hickenlooper's declining popularity and recent items on his agenda. Hickenlooper granted a temporary death penalty reprieve to convicted murderer Nathan Dunlap in May, saying Colorado's application of the death penalty was "imperfect and inherently inequitable."
But 69 percent of voters say the state should continue having the death penalty as a legal option, and 67 percent said they disagreed with Hickenlooper's decision to grant the reprieve. Tancredo cited Hickenlooper's decision as a main motivator for entering the race again next year.
Meanwhile, 49 percent of the poll respondents said they disapproved of the job performance of the state legislature, which is controlled by Democrats and wrote a number of liberal priorities -- including some contentious ones -- into law this year. A suite of new gun laws caused particular controversy and led to an ongoing recall effort against two Democratic state senators. Hickenlooper did not issue any vetoes in 2013, though he did help scuttle some bills (including a death penalty repeal effort) before they could get to his desk.
"Quinnipiac Finds Strong Colorado Support for Death Penalty, Close Guv Race," by John Tomasic for the Colorado Independent.
Nearly 70 percent of Centennial State respondents told Qunnipiac they would like to retain capital punishment as an option for prosecutors, even though only roughly 50 percent of the voters surveyed believe the death penalty is applied fairly in the state and even though 57 percent say they don’t believe it prevents crime.
Momentum in the U.S. has generally been moving away from capital punishment in recent years. Officials have argued against it as DNA evidence has exonerated defendants who have landed on death row and as repeat studies show death sentences are more frequently meted out in cases featuring poor and ethnic minority defendants.
Colorado Democratic Governor Hickenlooper has drawn fire in the weeks since he granted death row convicted murderer Nathan Dunlap a reprieve. Dunlap gunned down four people in Aurora in 1993. There was never any question about his innocence. Hickenlooper said the reprieve was less about Dunlap than about the fact that the death penalty is unevenly applied in Colorado.
“Our system of capital punishment is imperfect and inherently inequitable,” he said. “Such a level of punishment really does demand perfection.”
The three men currently on the state’s death row all come from Arapahoe County. They are all African American.