Obama leading in Colorado, poll says, despite CU forecast predicting Romney win

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The latest poll, released this morning by Keating Research, Inc. and Onsight Public Affairs, finds that Obama leads over 48 percent to 44 percent in this battleground state. It's the first in a series of live-interview tracking polls that the groups will publish leading up to the November election.

"The main takeaway is that when you look at the [Paul] Ryan vice presidential [pick]...it really hasn't affected this race," says Chris Keating, president of Keating Research, who works for Democrats. "We are still seeing Obama with a lead that's just inside the margin of error."

The poll, based on 500 live telephone interviews conducted earlier this week among likely November 2012 voters, determines that both candidates have successfully solidified their bases; 90 percent of Democrats support Obama and 87 percent of Republicans prefer Romney. It also finds that Obama is winning key unaffiliated voters (a crucial demographic in such a close race), with 50 percent favoring him as compared to 36 percent for Romney.

Keating says that over the last several months, not much has changed for Colorado voters, even after the vice presidential pick of Paul Ryan, which could have shaken up the race.

It's worth noting that this poll is an entirely different way of analyzing the race from the forecast we reported on earlier in the week. That was based on a complex state-by-state model that focuses on economic factors and how votes will play out in the Electoral College system.

The professor behind that forecast, which predicted a Romney win, told us he doesn't think these kinds of polls from voter calls or surveys this early in the game are all that reliable given that a lot can change between now and the election, especially if the challenger candidate hasn't been officially declared at the national convention.

Keating says that while things can always change, at least according to his polling -- based on live calls with voters -- only about 5 percent of folks are undecided.

"We'll have to see how this plays out.... That's one of the reasons...to do the poll before the convention to see where we're at," he says, adding, "A lot of people have already made up their mind."

That certainly seems to be the finding from his poll, though more voters in Colorado are registered as unaffiliated than either Democratic or Republican according to data from the Colorado Secretary of State -- one of the main factors that makes the state so purple.

Continue reading for more insight on these findings and the full poll questions and results.

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Sam Levin
Contact: Sam Levin