Battleground States

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Battleground States: Colorado

August 07, 2008
by findingDulcinea Staff
Supported by Governor Bill Ritter, Democrats are beginning to take the lead in this state, where voters have traditionally favored Republican candidates. Colorado is only one of several battleground states in which local races may influence the outcome of national contests.

Backstory

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Colorado is another traditionally Republican state that the Democrats are making a big play for in 2008. As part of his strategy to win Colorado, Barack Obama will formally accept his party’s nomination in Denver at the Democratic National Convention.  Democratic strongholds include Denver and the state’s ski towns, whereas Republicans usually outperform in the rural parts of the state. Both candidates have been crisscrossing the state in an attempt to have their message resonate with the fiercely independent Colorado voters.

Key Players

Bill Ritter, the governor of Colorado, is a pro-life Democrat who won the state’s governorship by appealing to the traditional rural Republican strongholds. He endorsed Barack Obama before the state’s Democratic primary and will be the leading local surrogate for the Obama campaign. In an interview with Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press,” he outlines how he believes Barack Obama can carry the state’s nine electoral votes.

Possible Outcomes

Polls have shown a small but steady lead for Barack Obama in Colorado. John McCain has committed to distancing himself from the unpopular Bush administration to make up ground in the state, running local television advertisements that focus on his stance on climate change.
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