A new poll released today from OnSight Public Affairs/Keating Research gives President Barack Obama a five-point lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney in Colorado.
This the first survey of likely Colorado voters since the party conventions and it appears that the Democratic National Convention connected with a key voting block in the Centennial State: unaffiliated voters.
Of the 503 likely Colorado voters OnSight/Keating surveyed, 49 percent said they would vote for Obama while 44 percent said they would vote for Romney, if the election were held today.
According to OnSight/Keating, Obama's lead over Romney in Colorado is due largely to growing support from unaffiliated voters. In August during a similar poll conducted by OnSight/Keating, Obama lead Romney with unaffiliated voters 50 percent to 36 percent, now less than a month later Obama has added nine points to his advantage -- 55 percent to 32 percent.
“The fact that the race for Colorado is still very close may be the only good news for Mitt Romney coming out of the conventions,” said Mike Melanson, senior partner at OnSight Public Affairs, said in a statement. “Romney needed to improve his likability, but it appears Coloradans find him less likable than they did before the convention. Meanwhile, Obama has made significant gains among unaffiliated voters and maintained a solid lead among women.”
The poll had more good news for Obama and his favorability rating among Colorado voters -- 51 percent are now favorable toward Obama while 47 percent are are favorable toward Romney. But the president's favorability standing was most improved among unaffiliated voters, going from a 52 percent favorable/43 percent unfavorable rating in August to a 55-42 split currently. For Romney, unaffiliated voters resoundingly see the GOP candidate unfavorably -- 59 percent say they view Romney unfavorably while only 37 percent view him favorably -- a substantial shift from his 56-40 unfavorable/favorable split in August.
The Huffington Post's Pollster estimate, which is currently tracking 20 polls including the OnSight/Keating poll, shows a tight race with Obama leading Romney in Colorado by a slimmer margin, 48.9 percent to 46 percent. That's a one point increase for Obama and no change for Romney in Colorado, since August.
Nationally, the Pollster average of 443 polls gives Obama a lead over Romney by more than three percentage points, 48.5 percent to 45.3 percent as of Thursday -- an increase for Obama since OnSight/Keating's August poll when Obama led by less than one percentage point nationally.
The two candidates remain virtually tied among men (46 percent for Obama, 45 for Romney) and actually tied among whites (46 percent), while women and Hispanics continue to heavily favor the president. Women favor Obama 51 percent to 43 percent, while 67 percent of Hispanics favor Obama.
The poll from OnSight, a Democratic group whose founding partner Mike Melanson managed the campaigns of both Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Mark Udall, was based on a 500 live telephone interviews conducted August 21-22. Read the full poll results and question wording here.
More polls from around the nation: