NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist released a highly-skewed Colorado poll on Thursday that found Obama leading Mitt Romney, among likely voters, by five points, 50% to 45%.
Marist claims the breakdown of the poll is 34% Democrat, 32% Republican, and 32% Independent. But when those 32% of independents are examined, 14% lean Democrat and 9% lean Republican, which means the Marist poll, in reality, gives Democrats a five-point advantage among independents and a seven-point advantage overall.
In 2008, when enthusiasm for Obama and Democrats was at an all-time high, Republicans still had a one-point advantage at the polls on election night in Colorado. Thirty-one percent of Colorado voters in 2008 were Republicans, 30% were Democrats, and 39% were “independent or something else.” Obama won independents in 2008 by 10 points, which is why he won the state by nine points.
Things are different in 2012. Enthusiasm for Obama has lessened considerably because of his poor economic record.
And, as Christian Heinze, a very fair analyst, has been noting at The Hill, Republicans have a registration advantage over Democrats in Colorado’s most important swing counties. He wrote that he thought Romney “is actually the favorite in this state,” because Obama is underperforming with independent voters he won by ten points in 2008.
And on Wednesday, former Colorado GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams, sensing the race is a lot closer on the ground than what skewed polls like Marist’s may indicate, told FOX31 in Denver that Romney needs to be in “the Jefferson County and Arapahoe County suburbs.”
“It makes a difference to people when they see these candidates coming to their communities,” Wadhams said. “It goes a long way toward getting your supporters excited and getting those voters who are still on the fence to take another look.”
On Thursday, KDVR in Denver reported Romney will do exactly that and campaign in Denver on Sunday and Monday.
Unfortunately, polls like this skew the RealClearPolitics average that shapes much of the mainstream media narrative.