A poll released Wednesday by national Democratic-aligned groups shows former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper leading Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner by 11 percentage points — and the Democratic challenger holds a 19-point lead over the incumbent among self-described independent voters.
The Public Policy Polling survey, commissioned by Hickenlooper endorsers End Citizens United and Let America Vote, found Hickenlooper with 51% support to Gardner's 40%, with 9% not sure.
Hickenlooper on Tuesday won the Democratic nomination to take on Gardner, who is seeking a second, six-year term.
The poll also found former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 17 points in Colorado, 56% to 39%, with just 5% not sure.
According to the survey, 59% of Colorado voters support HR 1, a sweeping government reform and voting rights package passed by the U.S. House and awaiting action in the Senate, while just 12% oppose it. Another 30% are undecided.
In addition, 64% of respondents said they think politicians in Washington, D.C., promote policies because they help special interest groups who support or donate to their campaigns most of the time, with only 4% saying that's rarely or never the situation.
End Citizens United is devoted to overturning its namesake Supreme Court decision and reforming the campaign finance system, and Let America Vote promotes voting rights and election reform. The two groups merged in January.
“Fresh off of a primary win, Gov. Hickenlooper is well positioned to take on and defeat Sen. Gardner,” said Tiffany Muller, president of the sister organizations. “Coloradans want a transparent, accountable leader who will always put their interests ahead of corporate special interests."
Muller noted that Gardner has taken $5.4 million from corporate political action committees, according to The Center for Responsive Politics, and once told GOP senators that donors were demanding they overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Hickenlooper has refused corporate PAC donations to his Senate campaign, though critics point out he accepts donations from party committees and congressional leadership PACs that take funds from the sources he rejects.
Alyssa Roberts, a spokeswoman for the Hickenlooper campaign, said in a statement that her boss's "decisive primary victory shows that momentum is on our side" and that the results of Wednesday's PPP poll show Hickenlooper with a big lead among "voters who aren't buying Gardner's attempts to deceive Coloradans about his record of selling out Colorado for President Trump."
A spokeswoman for the Gardner campaign declined to comment on the survey but noted it was conducted by a Democratic firm for partisan organizations that are supporting Hickenlooper.
The poll, conducted June 29 and 30, interviewed 840 Colorado voters using text messages and phone calls. It has a margin of error of 3.4%.