Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Obama leads in Colorado

Barack Obama isn't terribly popular in Colorado. But he has healthy leads over all of his potential Republican opponents there anyway and this is looking like one of the states he flipped in 2008 that's most likely to remain in his column for 2012.

Obama's Colorado approval rating is 46% with 50% of voters disapproving of him. That represents a 10 point decline on the margin from when we last polled Colorado in February, when he was at 51/45. Obama's numbers with Republicans (8/89) are identical to what they were then and he's seen only a slight down tick with Democrats (from 84/13 to 82/15). The reason his numbers have slid is a significant drop with independents. Six months ago they approved of him by a 54/42 margin. Now those numbers are reversed and then some with only 38% approving of him to 56% who disapprove.

In spite of that Obama still has solid leads over all of his potential Republican opponents. Only Mitt Romney improves on John McCain's 9 point margin of defeat in the state, trailing Obama by 7 points at 48-41. That's almost identical to the 47-41 lead we found for Obama in February, interesting considering the drop in his approval numbers since that time. Against the rest of the GOP field Obama holds a double digit advantage: he's up 12 on Michele Bachmann at 51-39, 13 on Rick Perry at 51-38, and 16 on both Herman Cain and Sarah Palin at 51-35 and 54-38 respectively.

How can Obama be doing so well despite his own lack of popularity in Colorado? Voters may not like him but they like him a heck of a lot more than any of the Republican candidates. Cain's net favorability is -10 at 20/30, Perry's is -14 at 24/38, Romney's is -21 at 30/51, Bachmann's is -22 at 28/50, and Palin's is -27 at 33/60. Obama's definitely benefiting from a 'lesser of two evils' mindset.

Colorado showed last fall it was perfectly willing to elect someone it didn't like if it liked the alternative even less. Michael Bennet had a 39/47 approval rating on our final poll before the election and still managed to get reelected and Obama's at least faring better than that. What it appears has happened over the last six months is that voters have soured on Obama but they've soured on the Republicans just as much over that period of time and the net impact has been a wash when it comes to the horse race. It's a reflection of the disgust voters are feeling towards politicians across the spectrum right now.

I think the most telling stat about the weakness of the GOP candidate field is this- despite Obama's 38/56 approval with independents he still has the upper hand against every Republican with them- a 2 point lead over Romney, 12 point advantage over Perry, 14 over Bachmann, 17 against Palin, and 19 against Cain. They're down on Obama but they're not buying the alternatives either.

The last few weeks have been some of the darkest ones of the Obama administration and for all that he still has a 7 point lead over his strongest potential opponent in Colorado. This is coming off a year where Democrats in Colorado held their Senate seat and the Governor's office in what was otherwise a terrible year for the party nationally. It's still probably best to call the state purple, but it seems to be shading toward blue.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Have you guys taken a look at voter registration in Colorado lately? The GOP has a 5 point advantage over Democrats and Independents, so why in the world is your voter screen D+8?

In other words, this poll tells us very little at all.

Anonymous said...

2008 Exit Polling:
Democrat: 30%
Republican: 31%
Independent: 39%
2010 Exit Polling:
Democrat: 33%
Republicans 28%
Independent 39%

Anonymous said...

Someone has to make Obama look good. But yea most of their polls are to favorable for the democrats.

sportsman885 said...

Party ID tends to fluctuate. It's not a static figure.

Plus, if you look at some of PPP's polls prior to the 2010 election, and compare the party ID to the exit poll, even though PPP predicted the top line right, in some cases the Party ID was way off. So the point is not to worry too much about the cross tabs. The top line is likely right, though outliers do happen of course.

Dustin Ingalls said...

It's party ID, not party registration. We never weight for party ID.

Aric said...

I thought you were a professional polling operation. You should be ashamed of yourselves for how bad this poll is in relation to the sample. Colorado is a very independent minded state which wouldn't become more Left than it was in 2008. This poll should be taken out back and shot. Point Blank.

StewartIII said...

Hot Air| PPP: Obama leads in Colorado if Dems gain nine points from 2008 turnout, or something

Anonymous said...

Public Parody Polling

outsidethetent said...

Obama is clearly the least odious REPUBLICAN in the race.Leaves one to wonder how a Democrat might fare.

MidPointMan said...

In what universe is 43% of the Colorado electorate Democrat? Are you serious?

This is the most Busch League joke of a poll I have seen in awhile.

Every pollster is entitled to their own weights, but to be credible they have to be based on some sort of reasonable theory of the electorate.

Gallup currently has Colorado at R+1 in terms of voter registration (based on a much bigger sample) and the GOP typically turns out better than Democrats.

PPP has always been a Democrat leaning polling firm, but since their affiliation with the political hate site "Daily Kos" their polling has become increasingly ludicrous.

Democrats have never accounted for more than one-third of the electorate and independents in Colorado skew Republican historically (2008 is an outlier).

The latest voter registration data makes this sample weighting all the more insane. least Rasmussen's sampling is within reason. This is just slop.

MidPointMan said...

Typo...41% Democrat in the sample. In 2010 the number was 33%. In 2008 it was 30%.

This suggests that in a general Presidential election, where more independents turn out that 30% would be near the high end of expectations.

...but here is the real smoking gun. The PPP sample has 35% of the electorate defining themselves as Liberal. In 2010 the number was 21%. PPP is not far off on the Conservative number at 39% (vs. 40% in 2010).

Their frame basically traded one-third of Moderates and made them Liberals.

This is Fantasyland.

The reality in Colorado is that Ken Buck (who lost by 2 points) beat Micheal Bennet by 16 points among independents, and he was a Tea Partier!

Over half of Colorado independents are closet GOPers who consider themselves too Libertarian to claim allegiance to a party.

PPP has distorted that reality badly in this poll, giving it the veneer of propaganda.

Seriously, this is Busch League polling.

Todd Dugdale said...

MidPointMan wrote:
"Every pollster is entitled to their own weights"

PPP doesn't weight for Party ID.
They have been very clear about this. I don't know where you got the idea that they do.

That partisan breakdown is the result from their random registered voter sample. It's not manipulated by weighting or filtered through a 'likely voter' screen.

On at least some polls, PPP weights for age, race, and gender...but not for Party ID.

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