My, my, my. Just when everybody was prepared to bury the Romney candidacy, look what happens. Colorado, a battleground state with 9 electoral votes that picked the winner in each of the past three elections, has swung into the Romney camp in the latest Rasmussen poll.
Rasmussen hadn’t polled there since early August, when it found that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were essentially tied at 47 percent each, with 6 percent of the voters surveyed either undecided or preferring one of the splinter candidates.
Yesterday, however, Rasmussen conducted a telephone poll in Colorado, and found that while Romney still can claim 47 percent support, Obama has slipped to 45 percent.
In 2008, Obama won more than 54 percent of the Colorado vote, doing somewhat better there than he did overall (some 53 percent).
This appears to be the only single-state presidential poll that Rasmussen has taken since voters have had time to fully assess Obama’s disingenuous and limp-wristed response to the Middle East crisis. By some voters, it appears, his foreign policy has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
Some Colorado voters, at least, don’t appear to buy the notion that our problems in the Middle East can be attributed solely to an amateurish film about the Prophet Muhammad.
It should be fascinating – even more fascinating than usual — to see what the Rasmussen polls show in the days just ahead, particularly any polls taken in the swing states. Obama appears to have gotten a bounce after the Democratic National Convention, but after the attacks on our diplomats and diplomatic facilities in Libya and Egypt, he has fallen with a plop.
It is intriguing to note that Colorado is the state with the seventh largest percentage of Hispanic residents – somewhat more than 20 percent. Hispanics, everyone has assured us, will give Obama a lopsided proportion of their votes this time, as they did last time.
But in Colorado, if the latest Rasmussen poll is any guide, the Hispanic advantage may be wasted. In Colorado the unemployment rate is slightly above 8 percent, just as it is on average throughout the country, so it may be that Coloradans are beginning to wonder what they gained when they voted for Obama last time.
Add to that the impression, reinforced by last week’s events, that our commander-in-chief is a wimp and a screw-up, and we find Romney in the lead.
Republicans tremble when they think of the Hispanic vote, which is supposedly two-thirds pro-Obama. But in fact some of that advantage is entirely wasted, thanks to our electoral college system.
Of the six states that have a larger percentage of Hispanics than Colorado, two – Arizona and Texas – voted against Obama last time, and are likely to do so this time. Add Colorado to the mix this year and the GOP might at least stage a meaningful holding action.
(You can see a similar pattern when you look at the seven states whose populations consist at least 20 percent of blacks – a voting group which Obama almost totally monopolizes. Four of the seven – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina – voted against Obama last time and are almost certain to do so this time. And a fifth, North Carolina, looks like a good bet to switch to Romney.)
Because of the Hispanic population’s above-average growth rate, things might become more dicey for the GOP in the elections to come. One possible remedy would be to have the likes of Florida Senator Marco Rubio either heading a future Republican ticket or running in the second spot.
Anyway, let’s not compose any requiems for the Romney candidacy just yet. The more clearly the electorate views Obama in the seven weeks remaining until the election, the more they may decide to take their stand behind Romney.