Obama opens double-digit lead over Romney in Colorado

A poll released today by Public Policy Polling shows that President Barack Obama has widened his lead over Romney substantially in Colorado.

Asked to choose between Obama and Romney for president, Obama led 53-40 in the automated telephone poll of 542 Colorado voters from April 5 to 7. PPP said the margin of error for the
survey is +/-4.2 percent.

The poll found Obama has even bigger leads over both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich but that Ron Paul does better against Obama than any other likely nominee, trailing only 47-42.

“Colorado was one of several swing and even traditionally red states that President Obama flipped in 2008 — and if his re-election bid were decided today, there would be no looking back. He would actually defeat likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney by an even larger margin than he did John McCain four years ago,” the Democratic firm said in a press release.

McCain lost by nine points in Colorado in 2008.

Obama’s 53-40 lead over Romney here is up 11 points from a two-point edge when PPP last polled the state four months ago.

PPP said Obama has seen his popularity rise in the last few months, while the GOP primary contest has served to damage the GOP candidates’ personal numbers. Romney’s favorability rating is still the best of the Republicans’ except Paul’s, but he sits at 31 percent favorable and 60 percent unfavorable.

Meanwhile, 50 percent approve and 47 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance, up eight points on the margin from early December (45-50).

Obama has surged in Colorado by firming up support among Democrats. Where Obama was seeing 14 percent of his party cross over for Romney in December, now only 7 percent do.

He has doubled his lead with independents (from 49-37 to 57-31).

“Colorado flipped to the Democratic column in 2008 and it doesn’t look like it’s going back where it came from,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “Obama is looking exceptionally strong there.”

PPP said the poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization.

As Obama has gotten more popular with Coloradans, Romney seems headed in the other direction. His net favorability has gone from -18 (35/53) to -29 (31/60). Romney had a healthy amount of appeal to Democrats earlier with 20 percent viewing him favorably but that’s now down to 11 percent. And he’s extremely unpopular with independents at 25/65.

Romney’s problem with women shows itself in a major way in Colorado. He’s down by 24 points with them at 58-34. Obama’s also up by a 72-17 margin with voters under 30 in the state.

Of those taking the poll, 51 percent were women, 28 percent identified themselves as moderate, with 35 percent identifying as conservative and an equal number as liberal. Thirty-six percent were Democrats, compared with 35 percent Republican and 30 percent independent. The most heavily represented age group was 46-65, which accounted for 36 percent of those polled.

Image of Obama: YouTube screengrab

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.