As prominent Tea Partiers desperately urge Republican lawmakers and Republican presidential primary voters to move further to the right, President Obama is racing ahead among independents. Public Policy Polling, delivering results today from its first national poll (pdf), reports that Obama leads GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney by a solid five points and that he leads Romney by a whopping 41-point spread among moderate voters.
Writing at the PPP website, Director Tom Jensen notes the way the President seems to be regaining strong support among demographics key to his big victory in 2008.
“One thing that really stands out in this poll is the extent to which Obama has claimed the middle. He’s up 68-27 on Romney with moderates. He also leads by 20 points with voters under 45, a group there’s been some concern about slippage with, and he has a 66-30 advantage with Hispanics.”
That’s big news in swing-state Colorado, where nearly a third of voters are independents, where the growing Latino population exerts increasing political influence and where youth voters turned out in record numbers to vote for Obama last election.
Jensen writes that the caustic Republican primary, which has seen the former Massachusetts Governor run way to the right of past positions on flashpoint issues such as abortion and immigration, has cost Romney deeply among independent voters.
“Over the last month Romney’s seen his negatives with independents rise from 46% to 54%, suggesting that the things he has to say and do to win the Republican nomination aren’t necessarily helping him for the general. Obama’s turned what was a 45-36 deficit with independents a month ago into a 51-41 advantage.”
PPP surveyed 700 American voters for the survey from January 13 to 16 and reports a margin of error of +/-3.7%. The firm reports that it is “a Democratic polling company” but that “polling expert Nate Silver of the New York Times found that [PPP] surveys in 2010 actually exhibited a slight bias toward Republican candidates.”