DENVER – Mayoral candidate John Hickenlooper (search) has a solid lead in the polls over rival Don Mares, in part because he raised almost $200,000 more than his opponent, political analysts say.
As a result, Hickenlooper, a brew pub owner, has been on television regularly since May 6, both with advertisements in the months leading up to the first election and with a new piece thanking voters for their support.
Mares, the city auditor, has not yet been on television, though work was under way on a new advertisement, his spokesman Cody Wertz said.
The runoff election is June 3.
The most recent campaign finance reports show that Hickenlooper had raised $952,728 through May 2 and had $161,946 on hand. Mares had raised $749,662 and had $71,854 on hand.
And a poll released Sunday shows Hickenlooper was favored by 55 percent of those polled, and Mares was backed by 27 percent in The Denver Post poll. Hickenlooper's support from several groups has increased, according to the survey by pollster Floyd Ciruli.
The survey of 500 residents likely to vote had a sampling error of 4.4 percentage points.
Mares' supporters say the election isn't over yet.
But pollster Paul Talmey said it's difficult to close the gap on such a large margin, especially without significant funds.
"That's always the problem when you're running behind to get the money it takes to catch up," Talmey said. "You have a situation where not only did you have a big spread in the first round, all the indications are that the second round will be a bigger spread."
A poll by Public Opinion Strategies (search) of 300 likely voters in May showed Hickenlooper with 59 percent support to 31 percent for Mares. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points.
The 51-year-old Hickenlooper, who has never held elective office, has also doubled his support from Republicans to 72 percent. He has support from 46 percent of the Democrats, compared with 35 percent for Mares.
Both candidates are Democrats, but the election is nonpartisan.