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March 22, 2012 09:06 PM UTC

Obama Extends Lead Overall But Tight Race In West, Says "Purple Poll"

  • by: Colorado Pols

McClatchy reports, following up on a particular poll we started following last month:

President Barack Obama’s standing with voters in 12 battleground states appears to be on the rise as views of the economy and the direction of the country have improved slightly, according to a new poll of voters in so-called “purple” states…

The poll also showed that Democrats continue to be perceived as the party that cares more about issues that are important to women. Fifty-one percent of independent voters believe this to be so, compared to 24 percent who believe the Republicans care more about women’s issues.

And as Mitt Romney continues his march toward the Republican presidential nomination, the poll suggests trouble for the presumed GOP front-runner.

To wit, from Purple Strategies’ memo:

President Obama maintains a steady advantage against both Republican challengers in the key swing states that will determine the 2012 general election. He currently leads Romney by 4 points (48% to 44%) and holds a majority against Rick Santorum (50% to 42%). His performance against Romney has gradually increased since the PurplePoll began tracking in September 2011.

President Obama is making strong inroads among independents. As recently as last month, the President was trailing a Republican challenger among independent voters (Santorum 44%, Obama 42%). Today, he leads Romney by 8 points (48% to 40%) and Santorum by 11 (50% to 39%) among independents in swing states.

These improvements appear to be fueled by a slowly improving political climate for the incumbent. President Obama’s approval rating continues to improve, and is now close to even at 46% approve to 50% disapprove. This represents a 5-point improvement over the last six months, compared to a 3-point decline in disapproval.

Last month, the same poll showed Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by a slightly smaller 47-43% margin, and leading Rick Santorum 46-44. As you can see, Santorum has taken a much larger hit in his month-to-month performance against Obama than Romney, but in both cases the President appears to be slowly extending his lead in these 12 swing states overall. The biggest thing to be looking at with these early polls is favorability, and this stat also shows Obama generally ascending and the Republican contenders in decline.

As we noted last time with a bit of irritation, Colorado is grouped with Nevada and New Mexico for these polls, and numbers aren’t separately available just for us. For the “Wild West” as a whole, it’s worth noting that approval for Obama is a little softer, and the head-to-head matchups remain extremely close–in Romney’s case, we suspect a bit of skew based on Nevada being lumped in with us. Romney is doing slightly better in these states than in February in head-to-head matchup with Obama, with a nominal lead of 46-45%. Romney’s unfavorables, though up dramatically from last fall, have stabilized since February at 54%.

To the extent Colorado and the West is a little more “swing” than the average “swing state,” it surely means we’ll be getting lots of attention in the coming months from both sides.


8 thoughts on “Obama Extends Lead Overall But Tight Race In West, Says “Purple Poll”

  1. But thanks, Pols. You’ve done the people of Colorado a valuable service.

    If you look at the polling memo, you see that Purple Strategies is playing games with the numbers, and amazingly, Pols didn’t let them get away with it. The poll tracks the change in favorability/approval and H2H matchups. But for Romney, the statistic shown is change since SEPTEMBER, not the change from FEBRUARY that they show for Rick Santorum.

    Pols explains why they did this: because since February in the West, Romney’s numbers have actually IMPROVED! If they use September as their benchmark, it looks worse for Romney.

    That’s a really dirty move by Purple Strategies.

    I think this is the first time you’ve actually debunked Democrat propaganda instead of simply repeating it. Good job, and I sincerely mean this. I am pleasantly surprised.

    The only critique I have is this: maybe the “Purple Poll” isn’t worth your attention.

    1. But your paranoid  persecution delusions are actually getting old. They didn’t compare Santorum approval as far back as September because they weren’t polling that until last month. And that wasn’t until after Colorado Republicans handed Romney a trouncing.

      Or it could be your version, that the entire world is conspiring to make Romney look bad. Even all the previous versions of Mitt Romney. Maybe them most of all.  

      1. If they wanted to do a true apples to apples comparison they would have cited Romney’s February numbers to compare along with Santorum’s. You know exactly why they didn’t. They chose not to do that because in this region, it messes up their headline about this poll being bad for Romney. But Romney’s support has risen since February in the West according to this poll. In the West, Romney is slightly leading Obama. Don’t you think that’s significant?

        Again, I thank Pols for accurately covering this, even though they were obligated to after covering the first poll. I would have pointed out the problem if they had not. 🙂

    2. I guess the whole Etch-A-Sketch fiasco has you looking for silver linings wherever you can find them.  Remember when your folks were bringing flip flops and wearing band aids to mock both Kerry’s gaffe about being for something before he was against it and his bronze and silver star war record?  Bet my side will be showing up at Mittens events with Etch-A-Sketches.  

      You know how those came up by way of his campaign spokesperson explaining how Mittens can easily retreat from those far right positions for the general? Just shake, shake, shake?  He was right about  Mittens needing to do that but since he opened his big mouth and let the truth fall out  Mittens can’t retreat an inch from any of it without bringing out those Etch-A-Sketches.  Poor Mittens.  Unfortunately there is no magic Etch-A-Sketch powerful enough to make all the video, along with those accidental true words go poof.

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