Obama up 9 in Colorado | VailDaily.com

Obama up 9 in Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” Democrat Barack Obama maintained a 9-point lead over Republican John McCain in Colorado after their second presidential debate, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The Quinnipiac University telephone poll for The Wall Street Journal and the Web site of The Washington Post showed Obama with a 52 percent to 43 percent lead over McCain in Colorado. That margin was unchanged after the poll was repeated after last week’s debate.

Similar surveys in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota showed McCain losing ground.

The Colorado poll also indicated a landslide win for a Colorado ballot measure to end affirmative action. The measure would bar the use of race or gender in state decisions, including contracting and college admissions.

The poll, taken Oct. 8-12, showed the constitutional amendment winning 63 percent to 21 percent, with the remaining 19 percent of voters undecided.

The polls were done between Oct. 3-7. The pre-debate poll in Colorado had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The post-debate poll, taken Oct. 8-12, had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

There was more movement in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race between the two polls.

Democratic Rep. Mark Udall led Republican Bob Schaffer 48 percent to 43 percent during the first telephone survey. His lead widened to 54 percent to 40 percent in the second survey. Udall and Schaffer debated Oct. 7 in Denver.

In the presidential contest, Obama inched ahead of McCain among male voters, 49 percent to 47 percent, and among white voters, 48 percent to 47 percent.

A slight majority of both men and women said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is unqualified to be vice president, the poll suggested. Colorado women were slightly more likely than men to say she is unqualified ” 52 percent of women to 51 percent of men.

The pollsters highlighted Obama widening his lead among independent voters in Colorado, where independents outnumber members of either party. After the second debate, Obama led McCain 51 percent to 40 percent among independent voters, and they said by a 3-to-1 margin that Obama won the debate.

The affirmative action question on Colorado ballots mirrors similar measures approved in California, Michigan and Washington state. There is an affirmative action measure on the Nebraska ballot next month. All are pushed by former California regent Ward Connerly, who campaigns full-time against affirmative action in states that allow such initiatives.

Colorado voters gave the affirmative action question a wide margin of support regardless of party affiliation or gender. Women were only slightly less likely than men to support it, 62 percent to 63 percent.

A separate poll by Suffolk University found Obama holding a slight lead over McCain, 45 percent to 41 percent, within the poll’s margin of error.

That telephone poll of 600 likely voters was conducted Oct. 10-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. The poll also asked voters whether they planned to mail in their ballots, and 65 percent said they would.

About the Quinnipiac poll: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x4141.xml?ReleaseID=1220

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