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Colorado’s John Hickenlooper sarcastically shrugs off polling woes

FILE - In this May 22, 2013 file photo, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver where he announced that he was granting a temporary reprieve to Nathan Dunlap from his death sentence. An online spot ad from the Colorado Republican Party appeared only hours after Gov. John Hickenlooper last month indefinitely suspended the death sentence of a man who killed four people in 1993 and was scheduled to be executed in August. It is evidence of the slow political re-emergence of crime, what was once a powerful campaign issue that for two decades has been eclipsed by other economic and social issues. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File) Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in May at the Capitol in Denver. (Ed Andrieski/AP)

MILWAUKEE — If Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is worried about his reelection odds, he's not showing it publicly.

"It seemed like I really had an unfair advantage," Hickenlooper quipped after a Democratic Governors Association briefing here Friday afternoon. "The approval ratings were so high — it really didn't seem even fair. So, we made a few strategic decisions to try to move ourselves back into play, forcing us to be on our game, a little more focused."

A June Quinnipiac University poll showed the first-term Democrat running neck and neck with Republican Tom Tancredo, a failed 2010 gubernatorial candidate and former congressman. Hickenlooper's decision to grant a temporary execution reprieve to a man convicted of killing four people appeared to hurt his once solid standing. A Republican poll conducted for Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) also found Hickenlooper to be vulnerable.

"If I lose, I go back to 14 weeks of vacation. I'm in a no-lose situation, right?" Hickenlooper said.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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