Colorado's Place on The Road to the White House

June 19 2008, 1:19 PM
Colorado and other Rocky Mountain States figure prominently in the Democrats' plan to take back the White House. But not everyone agrees on the outcome. Via Ari Melber at the Denver Post's Politics' West:
In Colorado, independents have been voting more Democratic: They went for John F. Kerry by 7 points in 2004, while he lost the state by 5 points. And swing voters also appear to lean toward Obama's candidacy....Colorado also looks like an uphill battle for McCain. He had one of his worst primary finishes there in February, netting only 19 percent to Romney's 60 percent. Meanwhile, Obama posted some of his best numbers, winning a 35-point caucus landslide, suggesting early enthusiasm and organizing. And on a less reliable barometer, a May poll found that Obama and Udall both led their races by 6 points. If Obama can close the deal out West -- winning back Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico while simply holding the states that went for Kerry in 2004 -- then Americans will watch the swearing-in of President Obama.
Ben Smith at Politico sees it differently:
One possible result: Even as the national mood moves left, the 2004 map largely holds. Obama's 32 new electoral votes from Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Virginia are offset by 21 new electoral votes for McCain in Michigan and New Hampshire -- and despite a 2- or 3-point popular vote victory for Obama, America wakes up on Jan. 20 to a President McCain.
What we do know is that the Democrats are taking Colorado very seriously. Today, Barack Obama launched the first television ad of his general (as opposed to primary) campaign. You'll be seeing it in Colorado. It showcases his patriotism and family values. Obama is also stepping up his outreach to Hispanic and Latino voters, an effort in which former Denver Mayor Federico Pena will play a pivotal role. With the August convention looming and Colorado's status as a key swing state gaining more national attention, things will be hopping on the political front -- and nowhere will it be more noticeable than on our television sets and radio airwaves. I just hope they don't peak too early and reach voter overload.