Last week, The Denver Post released a poll by SurveyUSA showing the Presidential race tied in Colorado. Then today, the Post did something unusual — they released a bunch of the data below the top line numbers (PDF). Kudos to the Post for putting it all on the table.
Polls, as we are taught, are mere snapshots in time. The top line results…who is up, and who is down…is often less important in the end than what the cross-tabs beneath say.
Who is winning with key demographics? Who is under-performing where they need to over-perform? Who is gaining ground on the other guys’ turf? These are the questions that decide elections. These important data points are the all-important tidbits found in a polls’ cross tabs.
In the cross tabs of the Denver Post SurveyUSA poll…a poll that shows the challenger and the president in a tie…there is much good news for Willard Romney. Here are five reasons the SurveyUSA poll should make Mitt Romney and his campaign team euphoric about Colorado:
1. The poll oversamples Democrats. This likely skews the poll 2-4 percent. Remember, far more Republicans voted last cycle than Democrats — 6% more Republicans than Democrats according to Secretary of State records. If that happens again, polls like Survey USA’s undershoot the Romney vote before they even start asking questions. Their methodology is simply off.
2. Romney is beating Obama by near double digits (51-43) among 65 plus voters. Hear that AARP? Mediscare WHAT? Not working. In a race that will be determined by which side can better turn out their vote on the margins, guess which demographic always votes? 65 plus. Advantage: Romney.
3. Among Hispanics, Romney is making notable inroads, approaching nearly 40 percent of the vote. That is closing in on Bush territory — who took 44% of the Hispanic vote nationally in 2004 — a high water mark in recent history. And there are still votes on the table, as Obama is stuck at 58 percent of the vote. More than any data point in this poll, this one is telling.
4. The gender gap is more like a gender sliver. Ken Buck lost women by nearly 20 points in 2010. Today, Romney is down only 6, which is saying something after the barrage of “Romney loves rapists” ads that the liars in the Obama campaign have been running over and over for weeks. Maybe more Colorado women agree with Dennis Miller than Sandra Fluke.
5. Obama’s hope of re-galvanizing the youth vote to tilt the outcome in his favor seems unlikely, at least in CO. Obama may have the endorsements of Jay-Z and Beyonce, but he is tied with Mitt Romney among voters between the age of 18-35. Obama may have an Empire state of mind, but young voters in Colorado apparently have jobs on their mind. So much for those faded Obama posters, and dwindling hope of Change in Washington. Obama has spent so much time on college campuses that some days it feels like he is running for student body president. According to SurveyUSA, all of that college campus shoe leather has earned him a tie among voters in the youngest voting block.
9/18 UPDATE: Last night we pointed to a series of heartening data points buried in the cross-tabs of last week’s Denver Post/SurveyUSA poll…data that shows big time glimmers of promise for the Romney campaign.
A reader pointed to another piece of information that is as important as any that we listed. That is, Romney is actually leading among Independents by a 41-39 margin. Of note here is that nearly 11% of all unaffiliated voters still describe themselves as undecided, so the outcome is anything but iron-set.
But that doesn’t change the fact that The Denver Post poll is full of all kinds of positive nuggets for Romney. He is creeping up among women and Hispanics, tied with the youngest voters, and is leading heavily among senior citizens and Independents slightly.