Colorado May Determine 2012 Presidential Election

    This year's presidential election may be decided in a handful of so-called "swing states," where President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are running neck and neck in public opinion polls.  The western state of Colorado has only nine electoral votes, which will all go to the candidate who wins a majority of the state's popular votes in November.  And Colorado is one of the few states that could go either way, so it is being hotly contested.

    Thousands of Obama supporters were on the streets of the Denver suburb of Golden, Colorado recently, when the president came to visit.  Obama won here four years ago and many of his supporters remain enthusiastic.

    Those who identify with a party here are evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.  So, independent voters like Sherry Toms are the key to victory.  And she still likes the president.

    "To switch everything and do a 360 with the Republican Party might not be the best thing right now," said Toms.

    The Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, was not here this day, but his son, Josh Romney, met with supporters not far from the Obama event.

    While young voters helped elect Obama in 2008, some, like Alex Insco, now favor Romney.

    "I haven't seen any change. I was hoping for change, but I still haven't gotten it yet," said Insco.

    Around 80 percent of Colorado's population is now located in cities and suburbs.  In a state once characterized by sparsely-populated areas such as the Rocky Mountains, demographic change turned Colorado from reliably Republican to a so-called "battleground."

    Many of the people who moved to Colorado from other states in recent years were drawn by its scenic beauty.  But, to live here, they also need jobs.  Colorado's unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national average and economic anxiety could sway many independent voters.

    "If the issues get framed in terms of economic conditions and that is how they are feeling about things - the loss of value in their homes,  the difficulty of setting aside money to send their kids to college or just filling up their gas tank with fuel - they are more likely to go with the out party, the Republicans," noted University of Colorado at Boulder political scientist Kenneth Bickers.

    But Bickers says Colorado's women voters could side with Obama if the race turns to social issues like abortion, which Republicans oppose.  Tara Speigel is one such voter.

    "If you listen to Romney speak and you listen to Obama speak, Obama is clearly for the women and he is for our rights," Speigel said.

    Still, in many suburban areas of Denver, women like Marla Wayneman are prominent Romney supporters.

    "Women with children will have a perspective on the economy and the effect that our deficit will have on the security of the nation," said Wayneman.

    In the weeks ahead, Colorado's citizens will see more of both candidates as well as a constant barrage of television ads aimed at independent voters who have yet to make up their minds.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.