Are Coloradans buying the McCain energy spin?

A day after a new survey conducted by Quinnipiac University for and the Wall Street Journal showed John McCain pulling ahead of Barack Obama 46 to 44 percent in Colorado, some analysts were saying it’s because of shifting attitudes on the energy front.

Floyd Ciruli of Ciruli & Associates told the Rocky Mountain News that $4 a gallon gas has more Coloradans wanting to drill their way out of the current economic mess, and that McCain has done a better job of communicating his ability to deliver on that promise.

But other observers are questioning the veracity and effectiveness of the current radio and television campaign designed to paint McCain and other Republican candidates as knights in shining petroleum. The Quinnipiac survey had Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall leading Republican Bob Schaffer 48 to 38 percent.

The Center for American Progress Thursday dissected a radio ad playing in Colorado that was paid for by the American Freedom Fund and attacks Udall as an obstructionist preventing America from achieving true energy independence through increased offshore drilling.

“Here are a few things to think about next time you pull up to the pump. The U.S. actually has more oil resources than Saudi Arabia,” the radio spot claims. “But Congress has put up to 85 percent of these resources off limits. Cuba is drilling for oil off the Florida coast but Congress continues to stop U.S. companies from doing the same thing.”

The Center for American Progress fires back: "The ‘things to think about’ are simply incorrect. In fact, Saudi Arabia has 10 times as much oil as the United States, most offshore oil is available for drilling, and there is no drilling taking place in Cuban waters."

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail and Real Aspen.

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