According to the independent polls listed by Real Clear Politics, there is no clear front-runner for president in the state of Colorado. RCP's aggregate polls tally gives Obama a slim 0.9% lead over his Republican rival Mitt Romney. But that's not the only intriguing race here. My vote as a resident of the Colorado sixth congressional district has never felt more important. Those of us residing here have always been able to predict with the utmost certainty that we would be represented by a Republican in the House.
Redistricting, however, has turned the sixth district into one of the most competitive in the nation. The importance of this district has gained national recognition. The New York Times, in an article published earlier this week, highlighted the Colorado sixth as a crucial area for President Obama to carry to win the state. Colorado's swing state status, combined with the increased competitiveness in the Colorado sixth, has made this area one of the most highly-politicized in the nation. Not an hour goes by when a resident of the Colorado sixth is not bombarded with political advertisements.
The election in the Colorado sixth district pits two-term Republican Congressman Mike Coffman against Democratic State Representative Joe Miklosi. It has thus far been an intense campaign saturated with attack ads from both sides. The drama of this race has been exaggerated by an eventful summer. Wildfires and movie theatre shootings have made voters hyper aware to those candidates who say that they are working to repair damages and prevent tragedies like these in the future. Both candidates are, of course, saying this. Tuesday's election will provide insight into what Colorado voters thought of governmental responses to these tragedies. Incumbents tend to get blamed when disater strikes.
Indeed, the newly-redistricted Colorado sixth now encompasses Aurora, the site of the movie theatre massacre. As if the race were not dramatic enough, issues like gun control and capital punishment have never been more sensitive in this area. What voters do in the booths will undoubtedly provide insight into the political effects of this tragedy on the community of Aurora.
Representative Coffman boasts an extensive military background and lives in the city of Aurora, which is known for its large military and veteran population. Miklosi, on the other hand moved to the district in order to run there and claims family friends as his tie to the community. Due to Colorado's designation as a "battleground state," Obama has visited Colorado 11 times in 2012. Miklosi hopes that the President might inspire Democratic voters and influence his campaign positively. Coffman has been traditionally viewed as relatively independent. However, some conservative votes this past Congressional term combined with some unfortunate comments geared towards picking up Tea Party votes have led his opposition to paint him as more radically right than may be the case.
Nevertheless, it can be stated with certainly that the confluence of so many factors in this district's election will provide a case study ripe for analysis, and will grant those who observe it carefully with insight into factors from the outcome of the presidential race to the role of government in fighting fires to redistricting laws.