Poll: Obama has slight edge in Colo. after state hosts first debate

A new poll shows President Obama with a slight lead in Colorado, days after the swing-state hosted the first presidential debate of the 2012 campaign.

The survey from the University of Denver, which was conducted in the two days following Wednesday’s debate, shows Obama with 47 percent support to Romney’s 43 among likely voters in the state.

The poll shows Obama also holding the edge among independent voters, despite his debate performance, which was criticized by many of his own supporters as lackluster and subdued. Obama leads Romney among independents by 48 to 31 percent. 

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Eighty-one percent said they watched the debate and another 14 percent heard about the event.

Voters overwhelmingly said Romney had done a better job in the debate by 68 percent to 19 for Obama.

The poll, though, finds Romney, who is slightly behind the president in most national and many swing-state polls, may be running out of time to win over voters.  Eighty-eight percent say their minds are made up, with 6 saying they could be persuaded to change their vote.

Sixty-two percent who watched or heard about the debate said it made them more strongly commit to the candidate they already supported, while 6 percent said it made them less committed. Only 4 percent said the debate made them change their mind about which presidential contender to support. 

On the central issue of the economy voters showed continuing concern, a trouble spot for Obama’s campaign, despite Friday’s jobs report which showed the unemployment rate dropping to 7.8 percent.

Forty-seven percent of Colorado likely voters surveyed said the nation’s economy had gotten worse in the last year, with 31 percent saying it was better and 20 percent seeing no change. 

Forty-one percent said their personal economic situation had not changed over the year, with 36 percent saying it was worse and only 23 better.

Romney holds the advantage on the question of which candidate would do better on the economy by 50 to 45.

The poll for the University of Denver was conducted from Oct. 4-5 and has a 4-point margin of error.