DENVER–The 2013 Colorado legislative session has been described as the most liberal in state history, but a new poll shows it wasn’t the most popular.
Fully 49 percent of Colorado voters surveyed said they disapproved of the job done by the state legislature, while just 36 percent approved, according to a poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli said he wasn’t surprised by the findings, given the furious backlash against the Democratic legislature’s passage of three gun-control bills and a doubling of the renewable-energy mandate on rural communities.
“There is a full-scale revolt going on right now in Colorado,” said Ciruli. “Democrats are hugely on the defensive–they’re having to defend two recalls, a lawsuit on the gun bills, and then you have a group of eight counties talking about forming their own state.”
The state legislature received low marks even in the Democratic strongholds of Denver and Boulder. The survey showed 41 percent of voters in those two counties approved of the legislature’s performance while 45 percent disapproved.
The only region where the legislature earned a thumbs-up was Arapahoe and Jefferson counties, where 42 percent approved and 41 percent disapproved of its performance.
“This poll confirms what we already knew: Democrats aren’t listening. They’ve consistently shown that they think they know what’s better for you than you do,” said House Minority Leader Mark Waller (R-Colorado Springs) in a statement.
State Democrats had no immediate reaction to the poll, but they trumpeted their accomplishments in statements issued at the end of the 2013 legislative session.
“Through our work, we have touched the lives of every Coloradan–rural and urban, women and men and gay and straight Coloradans,” said Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) in a May 8 statement. “We believe in lifting everyone up and giving them a safe environment in which to excel.”
Democrats went on a bill-passing spree this year after gaining control of both chambers in November, pushing through a spate of controversial measures that included an overhaul of the state’s election system; an income tax credit for workers who don’t pay income taxes, and driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.
Many of the most divisive bills were approved with no Republican votes, including the three gun-control measures. Gun-rights advocates filed signatures this month to recall two Democrats, Sens. Angela Giron of Pueblo and John Morse of Colorado Springs.
“Time and time again this session, they pursued a partisan agenda without seeking any cooperation from Republicans or soliciting any input from the Colorado families and business owners their actions will harm the most,” said Waller.
Democrats didn’t exactly disagree with his assertion.
“We did it all welcoming the support of anyone and everyone who wanted to progress Colorado forward,” said the Senate Democrats in an end-of-session statement.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted between June 5-10 and surveyed 1,065 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.