Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Battleground analysis: Colorado

Continuing with our analysis of the election-determining battlegrounds of Virginia, Colorado and Ohio, we'll take a look at how they relate to some of the different elements of strategy on a case by case basis. I'll be updating this analysis post-debates/final voter registration numbers. And now, the Centennial State.

2004 result
Bush: 1,101,255 votes
Kerry: 1,001,732 votes
Democratic deficit: 99,523 votes


The best Colorado polling is done by the Rocky Mountain News and the average of Rasmussen, PPP and Quinnipiac.

Current polling has it as follows:

New registrants
As of the end of July, GOP registered voters stood at 1,024,504 to 946,277. What is crucial here is the trendline:

The mid-October final registrant numbers will be fascinating and I'll update this again then.

Ground game
Obama has 32 field offices to McCain's 11. 538 has chronicled field organising efforts on Colorado in Durango/Cortez, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Denver.


Per the well respected Wisconsin Advertising Project McCain edges Obama in advertising by $553,000 to $522,000 per week.

Water statewide, gun rights outside of Denver and Boulder.

Candidate visits
Since the Colorado primaries Obama has visited 6 times whilst McCain has visited 7 times. Although it should be noted that one of Obama's visits was the Convention.

Othe factors
Governor Bill Ritter (D), Secretary of State Mike Coffman (R).

Best CO coverage
The Field, 538


The 2004 network exit poll for Colorado revealed the following demographic breakdown of the CO electorate:

Female: 56%
Male: 44%
White: 86%
African American: 4%
Hispanic: 8% (estimated 2008 increase: 10%)
Other: 3%
Under 30: 15% (estimated 2008 increase: 17%)
31-64: 69% (estimated 2008 increase: 67%)
Over 65: 16%

Since 2000, Colorado has seen impressive increases in the Hispanic population and in the Hispanic electorate (with the Hispanic population in the GOP stronghold of Colorado Springs growing since by over 40%!).

Party ID 2004
Democratic: 29%
Republican: 38%
Independent: 33%

No exit poll data from the 2006 elections is available.

Party ID 2008 estimate:
Democratic: 35%
Republican: 37%
Independent: 28%

Obama strongholds: Boulder, Denver
McCain strongholds: Colorado Springs
Key clash: Cortez

Paired with Virginia, Colorado is one of Obama's best routes to 270 electoral votes (Ohio, as we will see shortly, lags some way behind).

“Changing the makeup of the electorate is key to changing the outcome of the election’’ says Robert Gibbs, a senior Obama staffer. The campaign is targeting Independents in Colorado’s suburbs, Latinos in the southern part of the state, and voters in Republican-dominated areas most Democratic candidates write off. Given the likelihood of a slight GOP superiority in Likely Voter terms come Nov 4, Independents will be key to the election. As such Obama's months long voter outreach effort, plus the benefits of the Convention will prove powerful advantages.

After the voter registration deadline (Oct 6) I'll post an update on CO's state of play.

Ultimately, Colorado is another toss-up that I feel will ultimately break for Obama.

1 comment:

Francis Deblauwe said...

Using Pollster.com's excellent interactive feature, I've just compared Google Insights graphs of the parties' popularity in CO with Pollster.com graphs of the candidates in the same "toss-up" state. Interesting similarities and contrasts... See my Word Face-Off blog.