McCain, Obama even in Colo |

McCain, Obama even in Colo

COLORADO “-A new poll shows Coloradans evenly split over the presidential race, with Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain each gaining support from 44 percent of likely voters.

The poll released Sunday by The Denver Post and conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research illustrates the fluidity of the race in Colorado, GOP-leaning in the past and considered a swing state this election.

In August, when he accepted the Democratic nomination at the convention in Denver, Obama led 45 percent to McCain’s 42 percent in the Mason-Dixon poll. Release of the new numbers follows visits to Colorado last week by McCain and running mate, Sarah Palin, and Obama and his wife, Michelle.

Libertarian candidate Bob Barr had the backing of 4 percent of the voters and another 8 percent were undecided in the new poll, which surveyed 625 registered voters Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Obama led among the state’s unaffiliated voters with 49 percent over 31 percent for McCain. Another 9 percent of that bloc of voters favored third-party candidates and 11 percent were undecided.

Colorado’s unaffiliated voters outnumber Democrats, running a close second to Republicans, and are seen as key to winning the state’s nine electoral votes.

An additional 200 unaffiliated voters were interviewed and the statewide results were proportionately weighted to reflect the responses of all unaffiliated voters.

“We are going to continue to reach out to Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters alike,” McCain spokesman Tom Kise said. “This is going to be a close race.

Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller said the campaign isn’t taking any votes for granted.

The economy was the No. 1 concern for 77 percent of those surveyed.

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