Beltway Confidential

Republicans see Hickenlooper as 'very vulnerable' in 2014

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Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering,Gun Control,Colorado,2014 Elections

Republicans now see Gov. John Hickenlooper as "very vulnerable" in 2014 after last week's recall elections in Colorado.

The governor signed gun control measures passed by the the state legislature lead by Democrats in March, including universal background checks for all gun sales and limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

"I think Democrats overreached and voters held them accountable and I think you also saw an energized Republican base," Republican National Committee Deputy Press Secretary Ryan Mahoney said to the Washington Examiner.

In 2010, Hickenlooper easily beat divided Republicans in 2010 with 50.7 percent of the vote. American Constitutional party candidate Tom Tancredo got 36.7 percent of the vote while Republican candidate Dan Maes garnered 11.1 percent of the vote.

Tancredo is now polling even with Hickenlooper in recent Quinnipiac polls.

"I think the main signal is that Hickenlooper is very vulnerable next year," Mahoney said, acknowledging that although Republicans have lost recent elections in the state, the party still maintains a voter registration advantage.

Only 45 percent of Colorado voters say Hickenlooper deserves re-election while 47 percent say he does not.

"There is a lot of potential for Republican victories in Colorado and the recall election victories are a good step towards motivating the base and toward winning next year during the off-year elections," Mahoney explained.

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