How Larimer County Could Become the Next Ground Zero for Local Elections

September 7 2010, 11:30 AM

In Colorado's 4th Congressional District, where less than two years ago Democrat Betsy Markey led a successful insurgent campaign to oust the three-term Republican incumbent Marilyn Musgrave, Democrats now fear the pendulum could swing back toward the GOP. While the two candidates for the district—Markey and Republican Cory Gardner—agree on issues such as lowered taxes, they disagree on who should receive them, notes the Fort Collins Coloradoan, which writes that the district is shaping up to be the front line in the 2010 campaign.

The Denver Post reports that Larimer County could be the key to GOP victories come November, writing, "No other bellwether county in Colorado performed as Larimer did in the August 10 primaries, handing unusually lopsided victories in the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races to the GOP."

At the national level, Democrats appear ready to play the odds and cut losses early in order to focus on maintaining a majority—perhaps only a slim one—in November. One of the casualties could be Markey, The New York Times points out, as Democratic leaders analyze polls and other data in order to invest in races candidates have a chance of winning. Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says the focus will be on candidates who are able to show they have gained ground with constituents.

But Van Hollen calls the Times' reporting inaccurate (via the Coloradoan, in a separate article). The newspaper "erroneously suggests that the DCCC has decided not to allocate resources to specific campaigns," he says. "That simply is not the case. The members of Congress referenced in the article are all running strong campaigns focused on their solid records and drawing sharp distinctions between themselves and their opponents on the key issues at stake in this election."