Emily Schultheis

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s reelection bid might be closer than observers initially predicted, according to a Quinnipiac poll out Tuesday.

By a 7-point margin, 49 percent to 42 percent, more voters say that Hickenlooper does not deserve reelection than think he does deserve another term. The Democrat’s approval rating stands at 48 percent, compared with 46 percent who disapprove.

Still, Hickenlooper tops each of his possible GOP challengers by anywhere from 4 to 6 points. Against former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, he is up 44 percent to 40 percent; he leads both former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo and Secretary of State Scott Gessler by 5 points (46 percent to 41 percent and 45 percent to 40 percent, respectively); and he is ahead of state Sen. Greg Brophy by 6 points, 44 percent to 38 percent.

Earlier this year, Hickenlooper, a popular Democrat, was considered almost unbeatable in 2014. But a series of events — the recall election that ousted two Democratic state senators over the state’s ambitious new gun laws, and the rejection of a wide-ranging increase to the state’s income tax on Election Day this year — has weakened the governor’s standing and given Republicans hope that they can defeat him.