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.
    Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmarki
    X
    John Owens
    June 26, 2016 2:04 PM
    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora