November 6 2004, 7:00 AM
The votes in Boulder County have now all been counted, so we finally have a chance to look at a complete (unofficial) final vote count from Colorado. As expected, the Boulder County vote caused Bush's final victory margin in Colorado to shrink to five percent (52-47%) -- a margin of over 107,000 out of approximately 2.1 million cast. Ken Salazar's margin of victory over Pete Coors increased to over 87,000 votes. And that final state Senate seat in Boulder County has fallen to the Democrats as Brandon Shaffer defeated Sandy Hume, confirming that Democrats will control the state Senate by an 18-17 margin to go along with their 34-31 majority in the House. All of this confirms Colorado's status as a true swing state. Strategists have already pointed out that if Kerry had picked up three Southwestern states that he lost by five percent or less -- Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico -- he would be president-elect today. This point will be lost on no one, and so we can expect the presidential candidates in 2008 to spend even more time in this region than they did this year. The DU administration ought to take a good look at the Ritchie Center as a possible forum for a 2008 presidential debate.