A new Quinnipiac University poll of Colorado shows Barack Obama just edging out Mitt Romney, 48%-47%.
But here's why I think Romney is actually the favorite in this state.
According to this poll, Obama is only winning by 1% among independents, 47%-46%.
He has to do much, much better among indies than that to win the state.
Well, in the swingiest big counties, Republicans have a big registration edge over Democrats. Arapahoe, Jefferson, and to a lesser extent, Larimer County are all vote-rich counties that Obama won (and sometimes handily) in 2008 -- reversing Bush victories in 2004 and 2000.
How did he win those counties with Republican edges in registration? Independents flocked to him.
The only way Obama can overcome the Republican registration edge in those counties is through a bumper performance with independents.
He got it in 2008, but clearly isn't doing it this time.
Couple key stats here:
a. Obama is winning Hispanics, 65%-31%. That's a big number, but at least Romney cracks 30%, which is something he hasn't done too often.
b. The gender gap is even. Men pick Romney by 9%; women pick Obama by 9%.
c. Warning sign, though, for Mitt is that Obama's net favorable rating with independents is 6% higher than Romney's.
d. Barack Obama is underwater with independents on job approval, 46%/51%, and among all voters, 47%/50%. Romney will probably win the state if that holds up.
e. Republican enthusiasm is much stronger. 53% of GOPers are more enthusiastic about this election than previous ones, 38% of Democrats say the same, and 30% of independents.
f. Romney wins on the economy among independents, 47%-45%, and among all voters, 48%-47%.
g. Obama wins on health care, national security, Medicare, taxes.
Overall: As I mentioned earlier, Obama needs big margins with independents to win this state, and he's just not getting them.
That combined with the fact that Rasmussen had Romney up 2% in Colorado yesterday suggests, to me, that Romney is now the favorite in Colorado.