Obama keeps slight edge in Colorado, Palin effect mixed

A Public Policy Polling survey released Thursday shows Barack Obama maintaining a single-point lead over John McCain in Colorado, down from a 4-point lead in two previous surveys. The poll also shows McCain running mate Sarah Palin swaying male voters to the Republican ticket even though her effect on the contest is basically a wash.

A Rasmussen poll released Monday showed Obama with a 49-46 lead in Colorado, a crucial battleground for both campaigns coveting the state’s nine electoral votes.

The Democratic National Convention appears to have had little effect on Colorado voters, with only 15 percent saying it affected their preference in the PPP poll. Of those, 9 percent said it made them more likely to support McCain and 6 percent said it helped sway them toward Obama.

Women voters appear to have moved slightly toward Obama since the Palin selection, preferring the Democrats 51-43 compared to 49-42 a month ago. Men moved decisively toward McCain in the last month, from a 47-47 tie in August to a 50-43 lead this week.

McCain’s lead increased among white voters in Colorado, standing at 6 points in the September survey against 2 points in August. Obama, however, holds a 58-34 lead among the state’s Hispanic voters.

Running mates help the Republicans, with 41 percent saying Palin encourages a McCain preference and only 28 percent saying Joe Biden influences a vote for Obama. It’s not a big net-positive for the GOP, however, as 38 percent say the Palin pick makes them less likely to support McCain. A PPP blog post points out that Palin demonstrates a larger net effect toward her ticket in other swing states polled this week.

Public Policy Polling, a firm that conducts polls for Democrats, said the Colorado survey contacted 1,078 voters Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

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