Colorado continues to recover from some of the most destructive fires in state history, but the heat as a swing state in the 2012 elections is just firing up. The Obama campaign has visited the state frequently over the last few months — not a surprise. Mitt Romney has also showed his interest in the Centennial State, making a visit to Grand Junction in early July. The presidential candidates want Colorado residents to notice them and we Colorado voters are enjoying the extra attention.
The 2012 presidential election does not bare direct resemblance to 2008, when Colorado dressed up to host the Democratic National Convention. The “Obama effect” that once marked college campuses around the state in 2008 is only a fraction today. President Obama does not seem to stir the same amount of enthusiasm as he did when wearing his face and ‘hope’ icon became hip and trendy. But has the President really lost his spark among Colorado voters?
First Lady Michelle Obama would probably say no, but just to make sure, she also made an appearance in the state to rally up young voters in June. The recent support of same sex couples and the Homeland’s security change in policy towards young undocumented students also re-energized the support of many millennials in Colorado. Without these changes, the loom of unenthusiastic voters for the Democratic President might have been higher among young voters and Latinos. Now, previously unsure young Democrats are back on board to support Obama’s reelection. It is not uncommon to hear supporters say four more years are needed for Obama to truly make changes since he will not be eligible for reelection after a second term. Four more years in the Oval Office will give him an opportunity to show his ‘true colors.’ So why is Colorado still a swing state? Colorado Independents.
In a recent interview with CNN, Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper said Colorado is close to the three-way split between Independents, Democrats, and Republicans. The former Denver mayor and now current state Governor has one of the highest approvals, making him a major asset to the Obama campaign. Hickenlooper’s endorsement may help Obama gain a good percent of those Independents he needs to win the state vote.
It is apparent that the attention from both campaigns makes Colorado voters feel desired. Colorado households continue to view Obama campaign ads calling Romney to release his tax returns. Mitt Romney campaign ads continue to remind voters of Obama’s deficit spending and the unemployment rate. Colorado voters will soon have to choose who to vote for, but there is a good chance we are in no hurry to do so.