DENVER (CNN) - New polls indicate Barack Obama has opened up a double digit lead over John McCain in New Mexico, while the battle for the Colorado is a dead heat between the two presidential candidates.
A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation Poll out Wednesday has the Illinois senator up 13 points in New Mexico, 53 to 40 percent. The state has had two close calls in the past two elections, with former Vice President Al Gore slipping past George W. Bush in 2000 there and President Bush edging out Sen. John Kerry for years ago.
It’s a different story in Colorado - the state where the Democrats are holding their national convention this week. On the eve of Obama’s presidential acceptance speech in Denver, the poll suggests McCain has 47 percent to 46 percent advantage over Obama. But taking into account the survey’s sampling error, that race there is a statistical dead heat. Bush won Colorado by 8 points in 2000 and by 5 points in four years ago.
"The Democrats chose Denver for their convention in the hopes of poaching Colorado from the GOP," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "It appears that hasn't happened yet, although Thursday night's main event in Denver's football stadium may help Obama make some inroads."
Holland notes that the poll indicates a huge gender gap in Colorado, with 55 percnet of women going for Obama and 55 of men picking McCain.
It’s also a close race in Nevada, another western state the Obama campaign would like to turn from red to blue. President Bush won the state by narrow margins in the last two elections. But the poll indicates Obama has a five point margin over McCain, 49 to 44 percent.
Obama named Senator Joe Biden as his running mate on Saturday. Although Biden is a long time Delaware resident, he was born and raised in Pennsylvania. Has the Biden announcement made an impact in the Keystone State? Our new poll indicates no impact so far. Obama holds a 5-point edge in our new survey, 48 to 43 percent. That’s pretty much where recent polls from other organizations put the race.
"Pennsylvania voters tend to be a bit older than in most states, so it's good news for Obama that he's actually carrying senior citizens in the Keystone State. Nationally, seniors tend to pick McCain," Holland said. "But the bad news for Obama is that he's only pulling a quarter of the rural voters in Pennsylvania. That's a far worse showing for Obama than rural voters in Nevada or Colorado."
The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation surveys were conducted Sunday through Tuesday, with 670 registered voters in Colorado, 625 in Nevada, 659 in New Mexico and 669 in Pennsylvania questioned by telephone. The sampling error for each poll is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser