The first swing state to move off the battlefield this year was North Carolina. Last week, RealClearPolitics moved it from "toss up" to "lean Romney." Romney has built up consistent, significant leads in the Tarheel state, and Obama hasn't campaigned there since his convention in September. Fittingly, the next state to move off the campaign battlefield may be Colorado, where Obama launched his general election campaign for the Presidency four years ago.
This morning, Rasmussen released a new poll of Colorado, finding Romney has jumped to a 4 point lead over Obama, 50-46. Importantly, Romney hit the 50% threshold. Most other recent polling has also found Romney with the lead and he now leads the RCP average of polling in the state.
The only recent poll of Colorado to find Obama ahead was last week's survey from PPP. That poll found Obama with a 3-point lead over Romney. That poll, however, was based on a massive increase in voter turnout over 2008.
Four years ago, the GOP has a 1-point advantage over Democrats in turnout, making the state R+1. PPP's poll, however, assumes the state will have a significant surge to Democrats next month. Its poll estimates the electorate as D+3 this election, a partisan shift that borders on the absurd. Especially considering that the GOP has added more voters than Democrats have since 2008.
Romney now leads Obama on both handling the economy and foreign policy. Voters give Romney the edge on the economy by 7 points, 51-44. On national security, he bests the President by 6 points, 51-45. It's hard to imagine Obama reversing Romney's advantage on both issues with just two weeks left.
Equally important, among voters who have definitely made up their mind, and so are most likely to vote, Romney leads Obama by 15 points, 56-41.
I had thought Florida would be the next swing state to drop off the campaign battlefield. But, based on today's poll, maybe Colorado will move to the Romney column first. The state where Obama gave his most recent acceptance speech was the first to move to Romney. It would be fitting if the state where Obama gave his first acceptance speech was the next to go.
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