Big morning for Michael Hancock. First, he actually survived an appearance on Peter Boyles's show -- during which he promised to call Theresa Spahn and James Mejia, and apologize for a supporter calling them "losers." And at the moment, it doesn't look like "loser" will be a label hanging from Hancock: He's taken the lead over Chris Romer -- if you believe the results of a poll conducted by the Hancock campaign's own pollster, which shows the city councilman with a 15-point lead.
Evan Dreyer, Hancock's campaign manager, just sent this message to the media:
Good morning and good news: I just talked with our pollster and his survey (conducted earlier this week) shows Michael with a 15-point lead!
The poll was conducted May 9-11 among 508 likely runoff voters in Denver. It shows 52% will vote for Michael and 37% will vote for Romer, with 11% undecided. This margin is not surprising considering that voters are also more favorable toward Michael (71% favorable - 13% unfavorable) than toward Romer (58% favorable - 31% unfavorable).
The sample of 508 likely voters in this poll was randomly selected from the list of 112,000 Denver voters who voted in the general election for mayor. The margin of error is plus/minus 4.3%.
This live telephone poll was conducted by Chris Keating of Keating Research Inc., who has been polling on campaigns in Colorado for the past 15 years, including as the pollster for John Hickenlooper's successful campaign for Governor in 2010 and on Mark Udall's successful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2008.
The poll started Monday, the day that Mejia endorsed Hancock. "This is politics as usual," says Romer campaign spokeswoman Laura Chapin. "It's not surprising that the response from the Hancock campaign after James Mejia, one of the top vote-getters, endorsed Chris Romer, would be to pay for a poll to get them the results they wanted."
And what does the Hancock campaign say to that? We'll let you know when we get a response -- and when Hancock makes those calls to Spahn and Mejia.
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For another look at the mayoral run-off, see Kenny Be's "Mayoral Menagerie" cartoon on the "Romer Hancock Runoff Circus."