President Obama is allotting a full two days this week to campaigning in Colorado, and a new Qunnipiac/CBS/New York Times poll provides a simple explanation: The president now trails in a state he won handily over John McCain in 2008.
The poll of 1,463 likely voters gives Gov. Mitt Romney a a five point lead over Obama, 50-45 percent. This represents a dramatic swing from four years ago, when Obama thumped McCain by nine percentage points, 53.7-43.7 percent.
Colorado has nine electoral votes and is considered critical to Obama’s reelection effort.
Obama has been forced to sweep into the state because weeks of Romney-bashing by the Obama campaign machine has failed to take enough of a toll. Despite the negative ads and personal attacks by campaign operatives, 47 percent of Coloradans have a favorable opinion of Romney compared to 42 percent who don’t. And Coloradans like Romney even before he gets to counter the Obama attacks when he fully introduces himself at the Republican convention later this month.
Obama’s unfavorability rating in the state stands at 50 percent, with 46 percent viewing him positively.
Obama trails even though Coloradans are far from disinclined to support Democrats. Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, is wildly popular, sporting a 66 percent approval rating compared to 19 percent who don’t like him.
Obama Wednesday was in Denver and Grand Junction and today is appearing in Pueblo and Colorado Springs.