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DENVER (AP) - A new poll has Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in a statistical tie with Republican challenger Bob Beauprez.

The poll from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday shows Hickenlooper trailing Beauprez among potential voters 43 to 44 percent, which is within the margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Republicans picked Beauprez as the gubernatorial nominee last month. In 2006, he lost the governor's race easily against Democrat Bill Ritter.

During the last year, Hickenlooper has faced criticism over gun control laws he signed and his decision to grant an indefinite stay of execution for convicted killer Nathan Dunlap.

The poll found a split approval rating for Hickenlooper, with 48 percent of voters approving and 46 percent disapproving. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,147 registered voters by landlines and cellphones between July 10 and 14.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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