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Support for Scott McInnis Eroding Among Republicans Due to Plagiarism Story

5 years ago
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Former Republican Rep. Scott McInnis is losing support among fellow Republicans in the race for Colorado governor in the wake of stories that he had plagiarized a series of policy papers he had been paid to do by the foundation of a prominent GOP family, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted July 15 for the Denver Post.

Twenty percent of registered Republicans who had backed McInnis before the reports of plagiarism said they would now back another candidate, while 39 percent said they would continue to support him.

Given a list of potential and actual candidates who could be the party's nominee, 64 percent of Republicans chose someone other than McInnis.

Twenty-nine percent chose former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who made a name as a fierce opponent of illegal immigration, as the candidate who would be the strongest Republican, followed by McInnis at 19 percent, businessman Dan Maes (who is McInnis' announced primary opponent) at 13 percent and former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton at 11 percent. Norton is running for the GOP Senate nomination but her onetime frontrunner status is being challenged by Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, a Tea Party favorite.

Tancredo told the Post that he doesn't believe McInnis or Maes can win and said, "If I can do it, believe me I will."

As far as the general election contest, a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted July 15 had Democrat John Hickenlooper, Denver's mayor, moving ahead of McInnis for the first time since February. In four previous Rasmussen polls, McInnis had held leads of 5 or 6 points, but Hickenlooper now leads 45 percent to 43 percent with 7 percent preferring some other candidate and 5 percent undecided. The margin of error is 4 points.

Sixty-five percent of voters say they have followed the plagiarism story very or somewhat closely and 64 percent say it will be very or somewhat important to their decision on how to vote (35 percent said it would be "very" important).

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans in the Rasmussen survey said the issue would be very or somewhat important with 20 percent calling it "very" important.

Voters split on whether McInnis should quit the race with 36 percent saying he should not, 35 percent saying he should and 29 percent undecided.

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