PPP Colorado poll: Obama up 10, Udall crushing Schaffer

A new voter snapshot released by Public Policy Polling spells good news for the Obama-Biden presidential ticket and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall with each campaign leading its opponent by 10 points overall and seemingly insurmountable leads with key constituency groups.

Leading 52-42 with all voters, Barack Obama’s upward trajectory since PPP’s Sept. 9 and 23 polls appears to be a direct result of the tanking economy:

The economy may be helping to drive Obama’s gains. Three weeks ago 51% of voters in the state listed it as their biggest concern. That number has now spiked up to 60%. Among those folks Obama’s lead is 60-34.

Sarah Palin’s flagging popularity — her statewide favorability ratings have dropped 5 points since the Republican National Convention to 36-49 — and a 14 point surge with Hispanic voters in the last three weeks to a new high of 71-21 is also boosting polls that favor Obama over John McCain.

U.S. Rep. Mark Udall’s chances to grab the open U.S. Senate seat over ex-Rep. Bob Schaffer are ticking upwards as well with a 2 point gain since the Sept. 23 poll. Udall now leads his opponent by 10 points with all voters. Dig a little deeper in the Udall-Schaffer poll’s crosstabs and an astonishing picture emerges of the strength of Udall’s pull with key constituency groups: women by 14 points, men by 5 points and unaffiliated voters by 25 points. The Eldorado Springs lawmaker leads with voters in every racial group and three out of four age categories.

Udall is scooping up voters concerned about education and the economy.

Schaffer’s base of retirement-age, white Republican voters who view taxes and moral values as important electoral factors are holding firm with the former representative and oil executive from Fort Collins.

Twelve percent of voters polled remain undecided in the Senate race. Half that are uncommitted in the presidential campaign.

One potential weakness in both polls is the weighting of party affiliation by the respondents who self-identified as 41 percent Democrats, 37 percent Republicans and 22 percent unaffiliated. Those figures don’t mirror statewide voter registration where both party-based and unaffiliated voters breakout roughly equally into thirds of the total electorate.

Pollster Tom Jensen explains:

We don’t ‘choose’ any party breakdown. We just weight for fixed demographics — race, gender, and age — and let the party breakdown fall wherever it falls. My guess is that in this Democratic year there are a number of Coloradoans registered as Republicans who are not identifying as such.

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Wendy Norris

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