Barack Obama's opened up a 13 point lead on Mitt Romney in Colorado at 53-40. He's gained 11 points in the state since December when he led just 47-45.
The formula for Obama's gains is the same in Colorado as it is everywhere. He's getting more popular and Romney's getting less popular. In December only 45% of voters approved of the job Obama was doing to 50% who disapproved. Now he's on positive ground with 50% giving him good marks to 47% who think he's doing a poor job. The main thing that's changed is Democrats really rallying around him. In December he was at 76/18 with them, but now it's 89/8. The party is getting a lot more unified as the election comes closer.
Romney's headed in the other direction. His net favorability has gone from -18 (35/53) to an even worse -29 (31/60). Romney had a healthy amount of appeal to Democrats earlier with 20% viewing him favorably but that's now down to 11%. And he's extremely unpopular with independents at 25/65.
In the head to head between them Obama leads Romney by 26 points with independents at 57-31. And Romney's now getting just 7% of the Democratic vote, down from 14% on our December poll. This is the trend we're seeing in most states- the primary campaign has caused much of Romney's crossover support to evaporate and it's also making him lose ground with independents.
Ron Paul is actually the strongest of the GOP contenders in the state, trailing Obama by only 5 at 47-42. He trails by only 11 with independents where the other candidates are down by 26-32, and he takes 10% of the Democratic vote where none of the others exceed 7%. Rick Santorum trails by 16 at 54-38 and Newt Gingrich with an amazingly bad 21/70 favorability rating does the worst with an 18 point deficit at 55-37.
The race in Colorado may get closer once the focus shifts to the general but for now it looks a lot more likely that it will imitate Obama's wide 2008 margin of victory there than that it will be a closely contested battleground.
Full results here