New presidential polling in Colorado varies in results

Two new presidential polls out today gauging Colorado support of Barack Obama and John McCain show wildly different results with one poll putting Obama ahead of McCain by 9 points while the other shows Obama ahead by 4 points.

The first poll which showed Obama ahead by 9 points was completed by Quinnipiac University for The Wall Street Journal and the Web site of The Washington Post. The poll selected 997 likely voters in Colorado before last week’s presidential debate and 1,088 after the debate and showed an unchanged margin between the two with Obama polling at 52 percent while McCain came in at 43 percent.

Colorado was the only swing state included in the poll that showed no movement after the debate. According to a press release sent by Quinnipiac University:

“Colorado was the only state in the polls where the numbers for both candidates didn’t move after the debates. However, there were positive signals for Obama, especially the fact that Obama now has a comfortable 11-point lead among independent voters, the largest bloc of Coloradans. A majority of both male and female voters said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is unqualified to be vice president, and interestingly, women were slightly more likely than men to doubt her qualifications (52 percent to 51 percent).”

The other poll, completed by Sufolk University, showed Obama ahead of McCain by 4 points. According to a press release by Sufolk University:

“With just three weeks left before the presidential election, voters in the swing state of Colorado are giving the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden a 4-point lead (47-43) over the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin, according to a poll released today by Suffolk University. The most recent polls taken by other pollsters had shown the Obama lead between 6-10 points. ‘Despite a small Obama lead, Colorado is up for grabs,’ said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University in Boston. ‘When the history of this election is written, one common thread will be how voters have repeatedly up-ended the conventional wisdom.’”

Not surprisingly, the Sufolk poll also showed that the state of the economy has a direct impact on voters’ perceptions of both candidates. Coloradans who are optimistic about the economy in 2009 favor McCain by a 49 percent to 44 percent margin while those who believe the economy will get worse support Obama 48 percent to 37 percent.

The Sufolk poll also showed Colorado voters appear to be optimistic about the economy though, with 49 percent saying the economy will get better next year and 31 percent expecting it to get worse, while 7 percent said it will stay the same and 12 percent were undecided.

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