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Polling Report
June 22, 2004

New Poll Shows 2004 Presidential Race in Metro Denver
Looks a Lot Like 2000

Analysis by Floyd Ciruli

A Ciruli Associates poll conducted in the Denver metro area the first week of June shows the 2004 presidential race so far looks like a near repeat of the 2000 election. John Kerry, the Democratic presumptive nominee, is one percentage point ahead of President George W. Bush. In 2000, Democrat Al Gore’s beat Bush by 2 percentage points in the metro area.

However, Bush defeated Gore by 8 percentage points statewide because the non-metro vote trends strongly Republican. Bush won the out-state vote 57% to 36% for Gore. Ralph Nader continues to receive 5% of the vote-the same as his 2000 share.

Question: If you had to vote today would you vote for George W. Bush, the Republican, John Kerry, the Democrat, or Ralph Nader, an independent?

The telephone survey was conducted May 26 to June 4, 2004, with 600 frequent voters in the Denver metro area: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson Counties (statistical range of accuracy + 4.0 percentage points). The metro area represents 55% of the total turnout in the state. The survey is part of a regular Ciruli Associates report on Colorado politics and voter views on major public policy topics. To view recent Ciruli Associates public opinion reports log on to www.ciruli.com.

Battleground State
There has been considerable political talk about Colorado being a battleground state. Both presidential campaigns spent money on advertising in the month of May. The new Ciruli poll indicates that Colorado remains in the “red” (a state Bush won by more than 5 percentage points) unless there is a significant shift away from the historic Republican advantage among non-metro voters.

Metro Presidential Support
Not surprisingly, traditional party voting holds sway. Bush is carrying Arapahoe, Broomfield and Douglas counties. Kerry is substantially ahead in Boulder and Denver. But in a switch in the usual partisan pattern, Kerry is slightly ahead in Jefferson and slightly behind in Adams.

Denver Metro Presidential Support
Compared to County, Gender and Party
TOTAL 49% 42% 5%
Adams (54) 46% 41% 6%
Arapahoe (120) 47% 31% 9%
Boulder (78) 37% 51% 5%
Denver (139) 32% 50% 3%
Douglas (55) 51% 34% 7%
Jefferson (142) 41% 45% 2%
Male (286) 45% 37% 5%
Female (314) 44% 47% 4%
Republican (219) 41% 82% 3%
Unaffiliated (172) 39% 42% 9%
Democrat (207) 30% 79% 3%

(n) = number of voters polled
Ciruli Associates, N600, 2004

Other observations from the metro poll:

  • There is a 10 percentage point gender gap. Following a trend first noticed in the Reagan election of 1980, Republican candidates do better with men. And indeed Bush has a 9-point advantage with men. But Kerry is ahead by 10 points among women.
  • Both candidates hold more than three quarters of their base partisan voters, and attract single digits of each other’s partisans. Kerry leads among unaffiliated voters 42% to 35%.
  • Ralph Nader does best in Arapahoe County (9%) and among unaffiliated voters (9%).
  • The percentage of partisans was 37% Republican, 29% unaffiliated and 35% Democrats. Note several counties have less than 100 respondents. Broomfield was not included in the county-level analysis due to having only 12 respondents.

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Ciruli Associates is a non-partisan research, communication and public policy firm providing consulting for Colorado and national organizations since 1976.

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