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University of Denver Poll “Spot On” with Election Results

DENVER – Exit polls of Colorado voters on Election Day were consistent with the post-debate poll conducted by the University of Denver in early October — following the first Presidential Debate on Oct. 3.

The University’s voter poll of 604 likely Colorado voters, conducted on Oct. 4 and 5, found President Barack Obama was leading Governor Mitt Romney by four points. The final margin between Obama and Romney in Colorado: four points.

The poll also correctly captured Colorado’s distinctive voting patterns for men and women. In national politics, there is a “gender gap” in which men tend to vote Republican while women tend to favor Democrats.  The University’s poll found men supporting Obama 47-40, and women 47-47. The exit polls showed a similar pattern with men 51-46 for Obama and women 51-48 for Obama.

Peter Hanson, assistant professor of political science at the University of Denver, said there is more to be learned about why Colorado does not have the “gender gap” seen in other states. “The gender gap has been an enduring feature of American politics since the late 1960s, and it is noteworthy that Colorado appears to be breaking from this national pattern.  It will be important to follow up on this finding with more research to better understand Colorado’s changing politics.”

He added: “At a time when there has been much discussion about the accuracy of polls, we’re pleased that the University’s poll was on target measuring public attitudes during an important election year.  It will be an invaluable resource for improving our understanding of issues important to the public and why Colorado has shifted from being a safe state for Republicans to a competitive swing state.”

Other results include:


  • Latino Vote: The Colorado voter poll found 72 percent of Latinos supporting Obama. The exit polls came out to 75 percent.
  • Immigration: Sixty-three percent of respondents said they would allow illegal immigrants living and working in the United States the chance to obtain legal status. The exit polls bumped that number to 65 percent.
  • Favorability: The Colorado voter poll found Obama’s favorability at 51 percent. Exit polls came out to 54 percent.


Led by Hanson and Seth Masket, associate professor and chair of DU’s political science department, the poll was conducted by J. Ann Selzer of Selzer & Company, an independent, non-partisan national public opinion researcher, the poll was conducted via telephone with 604 Colorado residents who are 18 years of age or older.

To qualify as likely Colorado voters, respondents had to say that they live in Colorado and would definitely vote in the upcoming Presidential election. Responses were adjusted by age, race, and educational attainment to reflect the general population based on recent Census data. The poll included a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. To view the complete poll findings and full description of the methodology, please click here:


Contact:  Theresa Mueller/ Kim DeVigil

Phone: 303.871.4778/ 303. 871-2775




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