03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ken Salazar Rasmussen Poll: Study Shows McInnis Beating Salazar

While the prospect of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar running for Governor of Colorado has the state's Democrats excited, a new Rasmussen poll may temper the party's enthusiasm. The poll shows likely Republican nominee Scott McInnis beating Salazar 47%-41%.

Salazar has emerged as the most likely candidate to replace Governor Bill Ritter, who announced Wednesday he would not be running for reelection in 2010. However, Rasmussen showed Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, another prospective candidate, losing by only three points, 45%-42%. The poll also found Hickenlooper's favorability rating to be 5 points higher than Salazar's.

Hickenlooper told the Denver Post Wednesday that he is interested in running, but would give Salazar the first chance to decide.

The most recent round of Rasmussen polling had Ritter trailing McInnis 48%-40% in December.

Salazar has not made any statements regarding his intentions to run for Governor, but numerous reports have speculated that the former Colorado Senator is considering, and will have the first option to run.