Apr 3, 2024 - News

Immigration and homelessness top Colorado voters' concerns, new poll finds

Data: Colorado Polling Institute; Note: Margin of error is +/- 4%; Chart: Alayna Alvarez/Axios
Data: Colorado Polling Institute; Note: Margin of error is +/- 4%; Chart: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

Colorado voters are feeling increasingly concerned about the direction of the state, as worries over immigration, homelessness and housing affordability rise, a new bipartisan poll shows.

Why it matters: The mid-March survey from the independent Colorado Polling Institute takes the temperature on how voters are feeling ahead of November's election.

By the numbers: Fewer than half of likely voters, 47%, believe the state is headed in the right direction, a drop of 3 percentage points compared to last November, the poll found. Meanwhile, a majority of voters, 53%, say they are worse off than they were four years ago.

  • The shift is largely being driven by a change in perspective among conservatives, pollsters say, as Democrats' grip on the state Capitol has grown stronger.

The big picture: Despite the vast majority of voters saying they are proud to be Coloradans, 51% have "seriously considered" moving due to the cost of living while 38% have weighed leaving Colorado altogether for a more affordable state.

The intrigue: 58% of voters across party lines feel that Colorado has changed so drastically that they say they sometimes feel like a "stranger" in their own state, the poll found.

  • That sentiment is particularly strong among Republicans, with 85% in agreement compared to 35% of Democrats.

Between the lines: It's no wonder why Republicans feel disoriented. The survey shows a significant shift in how voters perceive Colorado's political orientation has swept through the state since 2008.

  • That year, just 15% of voters saw Colorado as a blue state. As of March, however, that figure has soared to 63%.

Zoom in: When it comes to Colorado's prominent political leaders, voters appear to be divided.

  • 50% of voters hold a favorable view of Democratic Gov. Jared Polis compared to 44% who don't.
  • 38% view U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet favorably compared to 31% who feel otherwise, while 45% are fans of fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper versus 39% who aren't.

Stunning stat: U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican running for the 4th Congressional District in November, is an exception.

  • Just 22% of voters say they have a favorable impression compared to 62% who don't.

Caveat: The margin of error on the poll, conducted by Democratic and Republican firms, is plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.

What's next: The Colorado Polling Institute plans to poll Denver voters in June and release those results later this year.

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