AP poll confirms Colorado trending blue | VailDaily.com

AP poll confirms Colorado trending blue

DENVER, Colorado ” Barack Obama promised Coloradans he’d deliver change. In fact, change may have delivered Colorado to Obama.

Associated Press voter polls showed Obama made inroads in parts of Colorado that favored George W. Bush in 2004, confirming the state is shifting from red to blue. The polls also showed Obama gained a larger share of votes from women and moderates than Democratic presidential candidates did in the last two elections.

While registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats 36 percent to 30 percent in 2004, the state is now about equally split among registered Republicans, Democrats and independents, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

Obama opened more than 50 campaign offices across the state, including traditional Republican strongholds. AP polls showed Obama was competitive in eastern and western Colorado, which solidly supported Bush in the last two elections.

Women, who were roughly split between the major party candidates in 2000 and 2004, favored Obama this time, according to the poll. Latinas may have made the difference: About three-fourths voted for Obama, while white women were more evenly divided between Obama and John McCain, the poll showed. The poll showed men evenly split.

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Denver resident Laura Koke, 26, voted Tuesday for Obama rather than a Republican. “It’s time for something new,” said Koke, who is unaffiliated.

Obama also had the edge among independents and Hispanics, but he wasn’t necessarily a slam dunk among young voters, according to the poll.

Jason Lownsdale, 18, of Littleton, voted for McCain. “He was a prisoner of war. I totally respect that. I think he will put his country first. It’s comforting,” said Lownsdale, who is unaffiliated.

The poll showed McCain drew voters who described themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians. He was heavily favored by those who identified terrorism as the most important issue facing the country, who wanted a candidate who shares their values, and those who wanted a candidate with the right experience.

About half of Colorado voters chose the economy as the most important issue facing the country, and they leaned toward Obama.

In winning Colorado’s open Senate seat, Democrat Mark Udall drew support from many of the same groups that supported Obama. Udall defeated Republican Bob Schaffer for the seat held by Republican Wayne Allard, who is retiring.

The poll also showed a majority of voters support offering most illegal immigrants working in the U.S. a chance to apply for legal status, rather than deporting them.

The survey of 1,254 Colorado voters was conducted for AP by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International by landline telephone statewide over the past week. Results are subject to sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points, higher for subgroups.

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