Does McCain Still Have a Shot at Colorado?

In what can only be described as a sure sign of confidence going into next week’s general election, Michelle Obama put in a campaign stop in Colorado on Tuesday. Her mission: To rally Obama supporters in… Colorado Springs? Yes, Colorado Springs.


For a Democrat to win statewide in Colorado, the trick is to run up big numbers in urban Denver and granola Boulder — and hope that the Republicans are off their game in the rest of the state. With record-busting fundraising, and a 7-1 advantage in TV advertising buys, the Obamas have McCain on the defensive in Colorado, forcing him to fight on traditionally Republican turf in the southern and western parts of the state.

Perhaps The One’s confidence is misplaced. Colorado has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1964, except for 1992 — and then only because Ross Perot did better in Colorado than in almost any other state, handing it to Bill Clinton. But this year McCain, the Washington Post reports, “scaled back his television buy in Colorado for the final days of the campaign.” Is it all over for McCain in the Centennial State?

Television advertising aside, McCain doesn’t seem to have given up here. He’ll be in Colorado Springs on Friday, meeting with small businessmen, and then off to a rally in Durango. Popular talk radio show host and Pajamas Media contributor Hugh Hewitt broadcasted his show on remote from the Springs on Monday afternoon. A quick look at McCain’s website shows a pretty full schedule for Colorado between now and Election Day.


And then there’s this little item from the conservative site Virginia Virtucon:

I was having dinner a night ago with a friend of mine who is a statistician for a well-regarded private polling company. They do some work for Republicans in California, but most of the work they do is for Democrats or Democrat-leaning operations (Unions, etc.). Anyway, her shop was retained to do a few Presidential polls for targetted [sic] states on behalf of a union so the union could decide where to spend their ad dollars for the last week. They did Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Missouri. After mocking the hell out of the voter id spreads used by Rassmussen [sic], Zogby, etc. (and this is coming from a committed Dem who will be voting for Barry O) she said the results of their polling lead her to believe that McCain will definitely win FL, OH, NC, MO and NV. She says Obama definitely wins New Mexico. She said that Colorado and New Hampshire were absolute dead heats.

Problem is, I don’t see it. Not from here, anyway.

The Virtucon post above is one unnamed source corroborated by… hardly one poll. The polling firm I rely on most, Rasmussen Reports, just moved Florida — Florida — from “Toss-Up” into the “Leans Dem” column. This, with less than a week to go before Election Day, and in a state where the actual voting has already started.


In Colorado things don’t look any better. Calls to a couple of McCain offices — he has only a dozen in the entire state — went unreturned. Obama has about 50 offices here, and Governor Bill Ritter says he’s “never seen a ground game like Barack Obama’s.” AFP reports that, nationally, only 23% of Hispanic voters — a large and growing constituency in Colorado — are going for McCain. Bush won 40% of the Latino vote in 2004.

The RealClearPolitics average has Obama up by 8.3%, although that figure is skewed by one outlying poll by Rocky Mountain News/CBS4. But no current poll shows Obama with under 50%. Even assuming every single last undecided voter were to break for McCain, victory is still difficult, if not impossible, to see.

At least that’s the view from where I sit, at 7,500 feet.


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