|Owens Job Approval
Gov. Bill Owens' refusal to campaign for gun control with President Clinton will not hurt Owens, nor have much effect on the gun control initiative. Owens' job approval rating tops Clinton's by 13 percentage points among Colorado voters.
In fact, Bill Clinton's presence in Colorado recently and his avid support of the gun control initiative could do more harm than good to the effort. He is a polarizing figure and some voters may be disaffected if he appears to use the issue for his own agenda or Democrat party purposes.
Owens' popularity, combined with Clinton's sensitivity to the issue, were no doubt reasons that Clinton repeatedly referred to Owens' support of the gun control measure while addressing the issue in Colorado.
Owens' high approval is a marked improvement for a conservative Republican who won with only a 7,000-vote margin in 1998. His new strength reflects success in solving transportation bottlenecks and cutting taxes. He has also disarmed many critics by supporting moderate policies on gun control such as closing the gun show loophole and advocating smart growth initiatives which address intense public concern on the two issues.
Owens received his best scores, not surprisingly, among Anglo voters, non-union and evangelic households, and among Republicans. He currently has majority support among Hispanic voters and unaffiliated voters. He has a plurality among Democrats.