DENVER (CBS4) – A new poll shows the presidential race is now tied up Colorado at 48 percent a piece.
Mitt Romney leads in the suburbs around Denver 51 to 46 percent. President Barack Obama won the suburbs by nearly the same margin in 2008.
Romney’s lead among men in the suburbs has grown to double digits from six points last month to 13 this week. While he’s virtually erased Obama’s double digit lead among women — Obama lead by 18 points a month ago — it’s now closed to three percent.
“Romney went from being dead in the water to being in a position to win,” former chair of the state Republican Party Dick Waddhams said.
Waddhams has been involved in Colorado politics for 40 years. He says if you want to win Colorado, you need women — who outnumber men and outvote them and who trend Democratic. But this year Waddhams says the president’s female firewall has come down.
Polls show Romney closing the gender gap.
“We are seeing women voters finally saying that he is a legitimate alternative to President Obama on the economy, which is what they’re concerned about most,” Waddhams said.
“The Obama campaign is not overly worried or overly panicked about any one constituency. They’re on top every constituency,” Obama campaign consultant Mike Stratton said.
Stratton pointed out that the race in Colorado is still a dead heat.
“There’s been no slippage in the Obama support. There’s just been Romney getting people back that he should have had earlier,” Stratton said.
Still, if the president doesn’t win women by a large margin he will need other core constituencies to turn out in big numbers.
“The problem for President Obama on young voters and Hispanic voters; while he will win both of those two groups by large margins; the unemployment rate among those two groups is huge — much higher than the rest of the population. I really believe that there’s going to be an enthusiasm problem,” Waddhams said.
“Our headquarters are full of people who are bursting with enthusiasm,” Stratton said.
One thing both men agree on is that after Ohio, Colorado may be the state that decides the election.