Anyone who follows this blog knows that while I work in Washington, D.C., I’m generally not a fan of the overabundance of pompous, fake, know-it-all pundits who live there. Washington is just like Los Angeles, except the fakes in the nation’s capital want to play “director” with your life. They see you as a prop, and your tax dollars as the studio budget. Given my desire to stay as far away from cocktail parties and networking events as possible, I decided that when it came to figuring out what Mitt Romney’s chances were of winning Colorado, that it would be best to ask a really, really smart … Coloradan. Luckily, I happen to know one. (I’m keeping his identity anonymous since I’m not sure he would like his name out there.)
Here’s his analysis:
Colorado is a state made up of maddening political contradictions. You have uber liberal Boulder county up north, and uber conservative Colorado springs to the south. You have Colorado University (compared to Cal Berkley by many), and then you can find Focus on the Family. You also have the aforementioned home base of a powerful evangelical Christian organization with one of the lowest (by state) percentages of people who regularly attend church (11 percent). Then you have a massive influx of liberal Californians moving in, mixing with a massive influx of conservative Texans. You have a state screaming for gun laws in the wake of The Dark Knight killings and Columbine going up against a powerful NRA lobby with mountain hunters.
Then you have Gary Johnson of the Libertarian party polling at 4 percent, I believe the second highest behind new Hampshire in political polls by state. Basically, we are a perfect storm of political clusterf***.
Two of Romney’s biggest talking points get blunted here:
- The economy is better than national average and we have thus far survived the economic downturn relatively well.
- There are few Jewish people here, so only conservative Christians would consider relations with Israel a voting issue (remember 11 percent, and not all of them are conservative). Also, by far our biggest minority is of Mexican decent, and they are by and large not fans of Republican immigration stances.
I will say (though it’s hard to quantify) that the “excitement” for Obama is not at the fevered pitch it was in 2008, partly (just as we’ve seen nationally) because he’s been president and you don’t have that same euphoria of getting your guy in there, and partly because we didn’t host the DNC this time around.
To be fair, even though the economy is decent here, Coloradans recognize it can be better and that it is still nationally sluggish — there are no quick fixes. This being said, Obama is still very popular with the Democratic base, whereas Romney is liked, but not venerated by the Republican base.
It is a statistical tossup, and we really won’t know until Tuesday. If you forced me to bet, I’d say Obama wins by 2-4 percent. Sorry to have a wishy-washy conclusion, but that’s how I see it.
So there you have it. I really have nothing much to add. I devour news on a daily basis for work, and this is one of the most succinct, informative, non-wonkish breakdowns of Colorado’s political complexity that I’ve seen.
My only question would be for our Libertarian friends: Is there a particular reason why you don’t sink your resources into building a movement at a local and state level, first? Is it really helping anyone to put all your eggs into one basket every four years, self-righteously beating your chest about the “two party system” before disappearing into darkness shortly after the election is over? Good grief.
Anyway, thanks again to my eyes and ears on the ground in Colorado. Great job, my friend. Here’s to hoping that Independents break hard for Mitt.