The Appeal of Denver's Top Three Mayoral Candidates, and Why Carol Boigon Is Dropping Out

April 18 2011, 9:15 AM

Just a few weeks ago, Chris Romer appeared to have a major lead in the race for Denver mayor. Now, with the budget, economic development, and education as top issues—and 300,000 ballots in the mail—a new poll for the Denver Post and 9News finds him sharing the top spot with James Mejia and Michael Hancock. The results are enough to drive City Councilwoman Carol Boigon, who shows a mere eight percent support, to drop out of the race (Post). She's expected to make the announcement today before endorsing Hancock.

When it comes to the demographic breakdown of the latest poll, Romer proves popular with moderates, Republicans, and older Denverites; Hancock has wooed African-American and middle-age voters; and Mejia appeals to Democrats, Latinos, younger residents, and a quarter of the city's women. One representative from RBI Strategies and Research, which conducted a poll for Colorado Pols a few weeks ago showing Romer farther ahead of the pack, thinks the latest numbers (done by SurveyUSA) account for too many Latinos and young voters.

Regardless, come May 3 (the final day to submit ballots), Romer may prove to have the biggest advantage thanks to his sway with older voters, who tend to turn out in higher numbers for off-year municipal elections. Still, no candidate is expected to achieve 50 percent, which means a runoff will take place between the top two on June 7. In the Post/9News poll, Doug Linkhart and Boigon come in at fourth and fifth place, trailing by significant percentages.

The Post lines out what makes education such a hot issue in the race and asks the candidates a series of questions on the topic. Meanwhile, the Denver Business Journal (digital subscription required) reviews the contenders' plans for spurring economic development, including some blueprints for specific objectives.