Although his job approval rating is down and Mitt Romney’s favorability rating is ticking up, President Barack Obama still leads in Colorado, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows the president leading Romney among likely Colorado voters, 49 percent to 43 percent. In a three-way match-up between Obama, Romney and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, the president’s lead over Romney shrinks to 4 points, 46 percent to 42 percent. Johnson picks up 6 percent support, much stronger than he has performed in other polls and perhaps an indication that the former Republican New Mexico governor poses a greater threat to Obama than Romney in Colorado.
Obama leads despite a slight decline in his standing among Colorado voters since PPP’s previous June survey. His approval rating has slipped from the positive territory of the last poll, which showed that 49 percent of Colorado voters approved of his job as president compared with 48 percent who disapproved. Tuesday’s poll shows 47 percent approve of Obama’s job performance while 49 percent disapprove.
Romney’s favorability rating, though, has improved as more voters have gotten to know him. In June, 40 percent of Colorado voters had a favorable view of Romney, while 52 percent had an unfavorable view and 8 percent said they weren’t sure. In the new survey, 44 percent have a favorable view of Romney, compared with 51 who have an unfavorable view and only 5 percent who aren’t sure.
Yet Obama’s 6-point edge is largely unchanged from the June survey, which showed the president leading a head-to-head match-up with the former Massachusetts governor, 49 percent to 42 percent. To that end, Johnson has actually done more to cut into Obama’s advantage in Colorado over the last two months than Romney. Obama maintains double-digit leads over Romney among Colorado women, Latinos and independents — virtually identical to where those numbers stood in June. Moreover, the latest PPP survey shows Obama with a massive lead among 18- to 29-year-olds, a coalition that proved vital to his win in Colorado four years ago.
The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama leading in Colorado, 48 percent to Romney’s 45.1 percent. PPP’s survey has moved Colorado to the “leans Obama” column on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard, which the president leads overall.
In 2008, Obama became the first Democrat to carry Colorado since World War II, and the state remains an integral part of the campaign’s strategy, which includes multiple paths to the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency. The president’s campaign announced last week a sweeping $77 million ad buy in eight battleground states, with roughly $7 million being earmarked for ads in Colorado. Additionally, Obama will attend several campaign events throughout Colorado on Wednesday and Thursday.
PPP conducted its survey August 2-5 using automated telephone interviews with 779 likely Colorado voters. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.