More from NPR poll: Battleground district voters generally upset

A closer look at the NPR-commissioned Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Public Opinion Strategies poll (pdf) on battleground district voters reveals a complex set of strong feelings. Democratic incumbents in these districts are clearly not well loved and neither is President Obama. But it’s not all rosy for Republicans and the Republican agenda. The same voters also mostly blame Bush administration policies for the struggling economy and strongly support Wall Street / financial reform.

Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District is considered a “Tier One” battleground for November. It’s the district where Democratic incumbent Betsy Markey is facing GOP state Rep. Cory Gardner. It’s one of the 30 most competitive Democratic districts in the country, according to the poll, which will come as no surprise to Coloradans.

This is the district that was held for three terms by arch-social conservative Marlyn Musgrave, who was defeated by Markey in 2008. That race was among the toughest-fought in the state, with both candidates facing criminal complaints filed against their campaigns for advertising. It was also the third-most expensive House race in the country and saw millions in outside money pour onto the airwaves.

The pie chart at the right is how Colorado’s CD4 breaks down as part of the NPR poll Tier One category and based on a self-identifying breakdown of voters:

15 percent liberal (blue)
32 percent moderate (yellow)
49 percent conservative (red)
4 percent don’t know or were unresponsive (gray)

Here’s a blurb on methodology of the NPR poll:

These findings are based on a national telephone survey of 1200 likely voters conducted in the Congressional Battleground, designated as the 60 most competitive Democratic districts, divided into two tiers of 30 districts each, and the 10 most competitive Republican districts. The survey was conducted June 7-10, 2010.

• 445 Democratic Tier 1 (MoE: +/- 4.6 percentage points)
• 445 Democratic Tier 2 (MoE: +/- 4.6 percentage points)
• 310 Republican Tier (MoE: +/- 5.6 percentage points)

Here is some of what the poll found in its Tier One districts.

• 41 percent approve of the way the Democratic incumbent is doing their job while 38 percent disapprove– but 16 percent strongly approve while 25 percent strongly disapprove.

• 53 percent disapprove of the way Obama is doing his job; 40 percent approve.

• 66 percent see the country heading down the wrong track; 25 percent think it’s headed in the right direction.

• 50 percent favor new stricter financial regulation; 27 percent do not favor additional regulation.

• 46 percent believe Bush not Obama is more to blame for the country’s economic woes; 36 percent believe Obama is more to blame than Bush.

• 59 percent believe Obama’s economic policies exacerbated economic woes rather than alleviated them; 35 percent believe Obama’s policies have prevented the economy from worsening.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic | 720-432-2128 |

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