The bounce President Obama received from the Democratic National Convention has extended to swing states, pushing small leads in Florida and Colorado higher, according to new numbers from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP).
“What’s happened over the last three weeks in Florida is pretty simple,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP in a statement. “Voters have warmed up to Barack Obama and they’ve cooled on Mitt Romney, and as a result Obama’s seen an increase in his lead.” And in Colorado? “Romney’s going to need to get it turned around soon to have a chance at winning the state,” Debnam said.
In both states, the president outpaced Romney on which candidate would be better to handle the economy, edging the former governor by 4 points in Florida and 3 points in Colorado. Obama has trailed nationally throughout most of the campaign on who would be better to spur growth, but has moved to a slight lead on the metric after the conventions and as data has showed Americans are feeling more rosy about the economy.
Florida is a big prize for Romney in terms of the electoral map, which has been less favorable to Republicans this cycle. The state’s 29 electoral votes would be a big help to Romney’s effort — currently the TPM Electoral Scoreboard shows the GOP with 191 electoral votes either leaning or solidly in their camp of the 270 needed to win.
The president currently leads the PollTracker Average of the presidential race in Florida by 2.1 percent.
Obama was only up a single point in Florida after the Republican National Convention was held in Tampa in late August. After the GOP party meeting, Romney’s favorability went positive in PPP’s polling, hitting 49 percent favorable against 47 percent unfavorable. Over the last three weeks, things have changed — Romney’s personal rating is now 44 percent favorable against a majority of 51 percent unfavorable.
“Romney’s comments about the ‘47%’ this week aren’t doing him any favors,” PPP wrote in its analysis. “89% of voters are familiar with them and 50% consider them to have been inappropriate to 44% who were ok with them. Most troubling for Romney independent voters considered the comments improper by a 58/37 margin and he trails Obama by a 51/40 spread with those folks who could determine the final outcome in the state.”
As for Colorado, the new 6-point lead for Obama is an improvement on the 49 percent to 46 percent advantage he had on Romney at the end of August. PPP found the same trend in the state as they did in Florida — Obama’s job approval hit 50 percent to 47 percent of likely voters who disapprove, while Romney stumbled on his personal rating.
“The key for Obama in Colorado is that he’s neutralizing or even holding a small lead with
some of the groups he tends to struggle with,” PPP wrote. “For instance he’s actually slightly ahead, 49-48, with white voters and when you add his typical 65-29 lead with Hispanics to the mix it gives him his overall healthy lead.”
Overall, the president leads the race in Colorado by 2.9 percent in the PollTracker Average.
The PPP polls of Florida and Colorado used automated telephone interviews with likely voters via landline (automated surveys are prohibited from calling cell phones) conducted Sept. 20-23. The Florida sample was 861 and had a margin of error of 3.4 percent, while the Colorado sampled was 940 and it’s margin of error was 3.2 percent.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.