The Campaign Spot

Is Colorado a Uniquely Challenging State To Poll?

One of my readers, Steve, offers a bit of perspective on why Obama might be performing well in head-to-head matchups in Colorado while Hillary performs so poorly…

I live here and believe me Colorado is not a pollster’s dream state. A lot of people here simply won’t talk to a pollster and the ones that do I think are terrified they will be thought of as unhip or worse by the person on the other end of the phone if they don’t answer in a certain way. In a telephone poll they’ll likely as not respond as if they’re all humanities professors at CU Boulder but put them in a voting booth and four times out of five they’ll vote like a bunch of soccer moms in the immediate aftermath of a particularly well publicized kidnapping or the equivalent. The “anti gay rights” amendment several years ago was projected to go down big time based on the polls and passed by a considerable margin. The polls had Wayne Allard being defeated soundly in two consecutive Senate races – and Allard won both by respectable margins. Ken Salazar took a lesson from that and realized he’d have to lie about how he would not toe the Democrat line on judges and the war to get elected, so he did and was, just like most of the more liberal office holders from statewide races. It’s not surprising Obama (who’s hip and happening) is polling well and Hillary (who’s not) isn’t. But as things stand now come election day they’ll be voting for McCain.

I definitely recall the Allard race of 2002 being one where the conventional wisdom was way off-base, and the amendment did pass with 56 percent of the vote in an otherwise tough year for right-of-center causes and candidates in 2006.

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