UPDATE: We’ve identified the most compelling evidence that the PPP poll is full of pee pee. Check this story from Politico yesterday where the Obama camp all but admits that its only chance of re-election is to destroy the GOP nominee. We aren’t as certain as the Obama-trons that the nominee will be Romney, but the point remains…if you are winning in key battleground states like Colorado, do you admit this far out that the only way to win re-election is to disqualify your opponents?


Mark Twain once said there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Democrat polling outfit Public Policy Polling's (PPP) Colorado survey released today (PDF) is a good example of the third variety of lie. Like statistics, polls can tell you whatever you want them to, it all depends on whom you survey. By that measure, PPP got the result they were looking for — that Obama is winning in Colorado, by asking a sample skewed heavily towards Democrats.

PPP's automated phone survey of 510 Coloradans had a sample size of 41% Democrats, 33% Republicans and 26% Unaffiliated/Other. Let's compare that to actual voter registration numbers as of August 1, 2011 per the official Secretary of State figures:


  • Republican: 37.7%
  • Democrat: 32.6%
  • Unaffiliated/Other: 28.9%

Total (active & inactive)

  • Republican: 32.5%
  • Democrat: 32.3%
  • Unaffiliated/Other: 34.5%

See a problem there?

If you surveyed a Democrat Party meeting of course you're going to find that Obama beats the Republican candidates, but that doesn't make it a representative survey of Colorado opinion.

Executive Director of Public Policy Polling, Tom Jensen, confirmed via an email to the Peak that they did not attempt to have their sample reflect actual voter registration. 

PPP also heavily skewed their previous survey(PDF) in February towards Democrats, with a 43% Democrat, 35% Republican and 22% Unaffiliated/other sample. 

Even with this heavily Democrat skew to the poll, PPP found, just like Gallup, that Obama's approval rating in the state is upside down at 46% approval and 50% disapproval. That marks a 10 point drop in approval for Obama since February 2011, the last time PPP polled Colorado.

An incumbent upside down in their approval ratings is always in trouble. 

Unaffiliated voters in the survey have made a particularly pronounced shift against Obama, with their approval of his performance shifting from 54-42 approve to 38-56 disapprove, a staggering 26 point drop just since February. 

As any political operative will tell you, statewide elections are won with the Unaffiliated vote. Without the majority of Unaffiliated voters, there is simply no way for Obama to win.

So no matter how you cook the books, Obama is not well received in Colorado. Or as Governor Hickenlooper has said: Obama will "have a hard time" winning Colorado in 2012. 


For more on this poll, and the earlier release of additional survey questions, check out Michael Sandoval’s coverage over at Peoples Press collective, here and here.