Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Colorado Poll: Obama and Udall not setting the world on fire

Barack Obama won 54% of the vote in Colorado last fall but our first look at his approval rating in the state finds only 49% of voters giving him good marks for his performance so far, with 45% dissenting.

Colorado still had a small Republican identification advantage even as Obama took the state by a solid margin in November, which meant that overwhelming support from independents was key to his success. Our final three pre-election polls showed him leading John McCain by an average of 24 points with that group. They don't seem to be as enthusiastic about Obama since his election though, as they split almost evenly in their assessment of the President. 48% say he's doing a good job but 47% disapprove. That comparative lack of support for Obama's work so far relative to how he did at the polls with independents goes a long way toward explaining his surprisingly low approval ratings.

His numbers are as polarized along party lines as you would expect them to be with 86% of Democrats but only 15% of Republicans approving of his work.

Obama has good numbers with women, African Americans, and Hispanics while he gets net negative reviews from men and whites.

A first look at Mark Udall's approval numbers also shows less than stellar results, with 41% of voters approving and 46% disapproving of the freshman Senator's work so far.

Full results here.


Adam Hearts Dems said...

I don't understand how this is an accurate poll. I suspected it was off when the President only had a four point approval rating in a state he won by eight points, especially when he is approved by over 60% nationally in every major poll. But then you look at the crosstabs.

Your age sampling in a progressively younger and younger state like Colorado is ridiculous. Your sample is 12% 18-29, 23% 30-45, 47% 46-65, and 18% over 65.

Exit polls showed those distributions as 14% 18-29, 33% 30-45, 39% 46-65, and 13% over 65.

Basically, exit polls showed about an equal split between 45 and under voters and over 45 votes. But your sample is 2-1 older to younger. Of course the approval ratings are off.

Tom Jensen said...

Our polling right now is based on a midterm electorate rather than a Presidential electorate so a roughly 65-35 over/under 45 split is not at all unreasonable.

But if the poll was weighted as you described Obama's numbers would actually be slightly worse because you'd be increasing the 30-45 demographic that Obama did not do well with in this poll and decreasing the 46-65 demographic that he did do well with.

Brandon K said...

Tom, you can never win. People from both sides will always try to discredit your poll if you don't show the results they want.

Unknown said...

I am sort of curious at these results and would be curious to see if this is an outlier or not. Are you planning to poll again in a couple of months to see if the numbers go up or the trend down continues.

Unknown said...

This poll was taken after the tea party's successful stop in Denver and other parts of the state.

Most independents, I think, are more suspicious of government, and because of that, Obama might not carry this state in 2012. It may be that Colorado went blue because a lot of voters didn't like Bush's vision of big government, and they don't like Obama's either. Obama will have to follow a Gore/Kerry path to re-election, which will have to include Ohio and/or Florida.

Rasmus said...

thanks for the comment moderation. I'm sure it will improve the quality of the comments.

true, every poll draws a lot of partisan heat. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be allowed to critizise a poll, and Adams comment on the poll was valid and supported by numbers.

I can't really see how Obama has just a +-0 approval rating with likely voters in CO. Rasmussens national approval rating for Obama is in the +6-10 range, and that one is a likely voter poll, too (though of general election voters). And Rasmussens polls are pretty much the most conservative estimate out there. It seems a bit off to me that Colorado should lag behind the national approval.

And Tom, I'd love to know if you have an idea why you get almost similar approval rates for Obama in all states you poll (except Delaware, but you noted yourself that approval ratings for all politicians are better there)- Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado- it doesn't matter where you poll, Obamas approval rating is somewhere in the -2 to +5 range.

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