New poll gives Jared Polis a 98 percent chance of becoming Colorado’s next governor

The poll shows Polis holds an 8-point lead over Republican Walker Stapleton.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis speaks during a Bernie Sanders rally at CU Boulder, Oct. 24, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis speaks during a Bernie Sanders rally at CU Boulder, Oct. 24, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

We’re a few days away from Election Day, but one poll is already calling the race for Colorado’s next governor.

A poll released Thursday conducted by three separate political firms shows Democrat Jared Polis continues leading Republican Walker Stapleton, this time by 8-points — the highest polling lead so far this election season.

The poll is based on 517 live phone interviews with likely voters conducted jointly by Democratic-leaning Keating Research, Onsight Public Affairs and Martin Campaigns between Oct. 25 to Oct. 30. The results show Polis with 50 percent support, compared to 42 percent support for Stapleton.

It’s the latest poll to show Polis leading the state’s gubernatorial race, which is starting to feel a lot less contest than first projected in this battleground state. Two other polls released in October showed Polis in the lead.

The poll is signaling the current congressman is poised to become Colorado’s next governor, replacing term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper. It comes less than a week before next Tuesday’s election.

At least 54 percent of respondents said they have already voted for governor, with 40 percent adding they would “definitely vote.” Ballots started being mailed on Oct. 15 this year.

“In 23 years of polling in Colorado, a statewide candidate with this type of consistent 7- to 8-point lead in the polls has never lost the election,” pollster Chris Keating said in a release Thursday. “Our statistical model gives Jared Polis a 98% chance of winning.”

Walker Stapleton, Republican gubernatorial candidate, speaks during a forum hosted by the Denver Metro Area Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Oct. 5, in Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

Walker Stapleton, Republican gubernatorial candidate, speaks during a forum hosted by the Denver Metro Area Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Oct. 5, in Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

The poll also showed Polis continues having strong support among women over Stapleton, with a 20 points advantage over the Republican candidate (56 to 36 percent). The poll also shows Polis is leading Stapleton among young voters, aged 18 to 49, with Polis holding a 55 to 37 percent edge.

The polling data showed Polis is leading nearly 2-to-1 in Arapahoe and Jefferson counties, two counties that are often instrumental in determining state election outcomes.

The poll showed President Trump is not popular in Colorado: 59 percent of respondents said they have an unfavorable view of the president, compared to 39 percent who have a favorable view. The poll showed Hickenlooper will likely leave office on a high note, with 59 to 33 favorability rating.

“Hickenlooper has an 8-year track record of bringing Coloradans together,” Curtis Hubbard of OnSight Partner said in a release, “and his favorability is a nod to his thoughtful approach to promoting jobs and the economy across the state, protecting Colorado’s air and water, and tackling some of the trickiest issues facing our state, be they health care or gun violence.”

Keating was also involved in the Oct. 2 poll conducted with Republican-leaning Magellan Strategies that also showed Polis in the lead, while a poll released Oct. 17 by Magellan Strategies also showed Polis leading.

According to a release from the pollsters, 61 percent of surveys were completed on cell-phones and 39 percent were done on a landline. The poll has a 4.3 margin of error.

Thursday’s poll showed Libertarian Scott Helker with 4 percent support, while Unity Party candidate Bill Hammons has 1 percent support.