Yesterday Purple Strategies released a swing state poll of likely voters in 12 states with an oversample in Colorado. They call four states (Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia) the “crown jewels of both campaigns' strategies to win….”

Romney – Obama are tied at 47% with 6% undecided here in Colorado.

We have a real Colorado horse race here, but Obama's horse is carrying a lot of penalty weight in voter concerns about his performance, past and future.

Neither is beloved by Colorado voters. 53% downcheck Obama's job performance (worse than any other state); 51% see Romney unfavorably, with 14% still undecided (to Obama's 6% undecided). Romney's April favorability in all 12 states surveyed is the best it's been since Purple Strategies began polling on him – so voters are beginning to put the nasty primary in perspective.

The poll shows Obama's weaknesses in Colorado:

  • 54% say today's jobs are worse than those we lost (23% say better);
  • 73% say jobs are difficult to find (18% say there are plenty of jobs);
  • 49% say their kids' jobs will be worse than their own current jobs (24% say better).

Coloradans are equivocal about whether the state's economy is improving; 37% say yes, 35% say no. But given the jobs results, those who see improvement probably do so because they thought the past four years were truly awful.

Purple Strategies asked fourteen questions about which candidate would do better on issues that ranged from their wife being a political asset to will change things in Washington. There is no breakout by party for Colorado, but the 12-state results for Independents showed half the questions a statistical tie. Beyond the margin of error are these results.

Obama leads with:

  • wife a political asset and
  • not being “too close to Wall Street.”

Romney leads with:

  • better ideas for jobs and economic growth,
  • changing things in Washington,
  • being a strong Commander in Chief and
  • dealing with Iran and Israel.

The kicker question gives Romney his biggest lead among Independents.

“I have serious concerns about what he [Obama or Romney]  would do to the country over the next four years.”

48% of Independents have serious concerns about Obama.

37% of Independents have serious concerns about Romney.

For Colorado's state legislative candidates in Aurora, Adams, Pueblo and eastern Jeffco – the blue collar districts – here's a special heads up. There's an eight point swing on whether the economy is improving when all respondents are split between no college degree and having a college degree. Blue collar voters are far more pessimistic. Given the jobs pessimism here in Colorado, there may be significant opportunities to earn blue collar votes with a savvy, new jobs program.

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