Floyd Ciruli polled Colorado's metro counties with a couple of job-approval questions (April 6-10).
Hickenlooper fares well. Obama's sucking wind. Only in Denver County does Obama's job approval top 50%. Boulder has him at 44% approval. It's worse for him in every other county!
There's pretty good evidence of a link between a President's job approval rating and his likelihood of being reelected. Whether this link is durable at the county level has not, so far as I recall, been studied.
The same calls also produced evidence about voters' opinions on taxes (RTD, in this case). Dems and Repubs performed as you'd think. Independents oppose higher taxes by 56% to 41%. Certainly helpful information for Republican legislative candidates, given the Dems' tax hike fervor.
There was, however, almost no statistical correlation between opposing taxes and down-checking Obama. That's because both Jeffco and Broomfield have a very dim view of Obama but seem to like RTD. Boulder County, btw, opposed RTD's tax 56% to 40% … perhaps because RTD's Board stiffed their dream of light rail.
We might suspect that Democrats' campaigns in Jeffco and Broomfield will try to sell the virtues of government programs that “help” citizens. By contrast, in Denver County, Obama is twenty points up over support for the RTD tax. A savvy Romney campaign in Denver could perhaps shrink Obama's margin in that county by focusing voters on Obama's taxes. (Some years ago, the Bronco stadium campaign confronted Denver County Hispanics' opposition to a tax hike for the stadium.)
A couple of cautions:
- Ciruli does not offer demographic break-outs, so we cannot evaluate this poll.
- Eric McGhee and John Sides report that “the partisan composition of voters depends on campaign activity” more than on job approval or the state of the economy. This means Colorado's results in November will depend on how well both sides perform in persuading swing voters and in turning out their committed supporters. Hard work matters.