By Kathryn Watson and Tori Richards | Watchdog.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new poll released Wednesday reiterates what voters in Colorado have learned during the past week — that this presidential election is in a dead heat.
Out of the 1,497 likely Colorado voters surveyed in the Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS poll, Barack Obama is squeaking by Mitt Romney with a 1 percentage point lead of 48 to 47 percent. This is a big gain for the Democrats from sixs weeks ago when the same polling group found Romney up by 5 percent.
No one from the Colorado Democratic Party could be reached for comment, but Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, offered this: “Colorado has 100,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, so this is a significantly overweighted turnout for Democrats.”
In otherwords, if more Republicans are showing up to vote on Election Day, than the breakdown of Democrat vs. Republican respondents should reflect that. Of those surveyed, 31 percent identified themselves as Republican, 30 identified themselves as Democrat, and 35 percent identified themselves as Independent.
Still, Call was encouraged by the close numbers and said it bodes well for Republicans in other national and local races as well.
Other data was compiled on the voters’ mindset, showing that few were better off than before Obama took office in 2008 but still would rather vote for the president anyway. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they and their families are worse off than they were in 2008 and 41 percent say they’re about the same. Nearly half— 46 percent — said Obama’s policies “probably never will” improve the country’s economy.
“For the president to be ahead as he is in states where voters think they’re worse off than they were for years ago is not your normal result,” said Peter Brown, assistant director for the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Most times, if voters think things haven’t gone well, they say ‘well, let’s get somebody else.’ But at this point, they’re not saying that.”
The poll was conducted over the telephone in swing states between Sept. 11 and 17, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
Brown said that, although it’s “hard to pin down” the exact reasons for Obama’s slight lead, voters seem to think he’s handling the economy better than he once was. And he consistently has the upper hand on social issues and the likability department, Brown said..
“They like him better,” said Brown simply.
Of likely Obama voters in Colorado who participated in the poll, 73 percent said they “strongly favor” their candidate, while just 55 percent of those who said they would be voting for Romney said they “strongly favor” him.
Contact Tori Richards at email@example.com