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Swing States Breakdown: Colorado
Governor: John Hickenlooper (D)
State Legislature (Upper House): Democratic (20-15)
State Legislature (Lower House): Republican (33-32)
Senators (Both): Democratic
U.S. House of Reps. Majority: Republican (4-3)
Colorado has for the past few years been considered a solidly Republican state. In fact, it has voted only four times for a Democratic candidate since World War II. However, in recent years, Colorado has shifted more into the swing state category.
Though it may not appear so initially, Romney has a bit of an edge here. He seems to be running solid, again picking up momentum from the 2010 Republican sweep. Republicans picked up a majority in the state’s House of Representatives, as well as claiming a majority of Colorado’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The general Republicanism of the region as well as a Republican majority in the electorate seems to be fueling Romney sentiment here.
Obama is fighting back though. He’s relying heavily on a growing Hispanic community, as well as other minorities for support. The women’s vote and left-leaning independents could give Obama the votes he needs to take Colorado away from Romney.
Whoever does win Colorado may be setting the standard for a state whose population has seen steady growth since garnering statehood. Colorado now sits at nine electoral votes, never losing, only gaining votes, since becoming a state. It has the potential to grow even larger, perhaps becoming something along the lines of “the Ohio of the Rockies”.
So what’s the outcome going to be? Tough to call, like all the others, but I’m going to side with Romney here. After all, they say the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and Colorado tends to trend Republican. However, that doesn’t count Obama out. After all, Republicans were unable to pick up the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the U.S. Senate. On top of that, all the majorities that Republicans do hold are done so by one seat. This could show Coloradans throwing off the Tea Party movement (the main drive behind the 2010 sweep) and preferring instead old school politics.
In the end it’s going to be close, just like everywhere else. And with its sizable bounty of electoral votes, Colorado may very well be the difference between whether a Democrat or a Republican sits in the Whitehouse next January.