Sep 2, 2022 - Politics

Political Pulse: New poll is a test balloon in Denver mayor's race

Illustration of a ballot filled in to create a question mark

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It increasingly sounds like state Rep. Leslie Herod may run for mayor of Denver in 2023.

What's happening: This week, Denver voters received a poll asking a battery of questions testing messages about candidates — and nearly all of the questions described Herod, according to a copy obtained by Axios Denver.

  • In a few questions, the poll used dummy names (like candidate "Lewis") instead of Herod.

Details: One question gauging voter support read: "As Colorado's first LGBTQ African American state representative, [candidate] Lewis led the campaign to create Denver's mental health and addiction treatment program … [and] worked with police and protesters in 2020 to transform Colorado's approach to public safety."

  • Other questions tested talking points like "fights for people like me" and "puts results over politics."

The intrigue: It's unclear who commissioned the poll.

What she's saying: Herod told us she's aware of the poll, but did not pay for it.

  • As for whether she will run, Herod's remaining mum, but made clear she's interested.

The big picture: The poll also tested the favorability of other potential candidates, including council person Debbie Ortega,Walter Isenberg, Penfield Tate and Lisa Calderon.

  • The signature question, however, is this: "Do you want someone who has the same style of leadership as Mayor Michael Hancock or is it time for a change…"

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