News / USA

Colorado Races Highlight Jobs, Economy, Local Issues

In the American West, as in much of the country, jobs and the economy are the top issues in Tuesday's midterm elections. In Pueblo, Colorado voters are also concerned about regional issues, including water rights, that cut across party lines.  

In Colorado Springs, south of Denver, conservatives and Republicans dominate politics. At local Republican headquarters, Kay Rendleman says conservatives think that government under the Democrats has gotten too intrusive.


"There has been under the [Barack] Obama administration a big increase in the involvement of the government and expansion of government. And you've seen with the Tea Party movement and we've seen from people talking that Americans are uncomfortable with that; Coloradans are uncomfortable with that," Rendleman said.

At the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, political scientist Joshua Dunn says widespread unhappiness with high unemployment and with President Barack Obama have made the economy the central issue in the elections. "Precisely because everyone is so angry on the right now about what's gone on in Washington with health care, the government stimulus -- those things have tended to put more focus back on those economic issues," he said.

In Colorado's race for governor, moderate Democrat John Hickenlooper is facing two conservatives, Republican Dan Maes and former Republican representative Tom Tancredo, who is running under the banner of the American Constitution Party.  

Democrats hope that Maes and Tancredo will divide the conservative vote and help elect Hickenlooper, who is the mayor of Denver.

In Colorado Springs, volunteers urge Democrats to vote.

Democratic county chairman Hal Bidlack says the economy is the central issue. "The issues here in the county and in the state center, like most of the country, around jobs, around the economy. The Republican message is that things were fine until Obama came into office. And the Democratic message is that things were a disaster until Obama came into office.  And who people believe tends to be flavored by their partisanship," he said.

Democrats face an uphill battle in Colorado Springs, which is home to the United States Air Force Academy and many military voters as well as conservative religious groups like Focus on the Family.

But further south in the steel mill town of Pueblo, Democrats dominate politically. Unemployment stands 1.5 percent above the state average and there is widespread dissatisfaction with the economy.

Pueblo City Council member Vera Ortegon, a Republican candidate for the state senate, says jobs and health care are key issues in these elections, and that Republicans differ from Democrats on how to solve the problems, whether through more or less government intervention.

But she says that regional issues like access to water cut across party lines. "When it comes to water, we don't really have Republicans against Democrats at all.  What we have is people from Pueblo against the rest of the world," she said.

Colorado has one of the nation's tightest races for the U.S. Senate, with Democrat Michel Bennet locked in a close race with Republican Ken Buck. Bennet was appointed to the senate early last year to replace Ken Salazar, who was selected by President Obama to be Secretary of the Interior. Buck is a county district attorney.

Colorado State Assembly member, Democrat Sal Pace is up for reelection in Pueblo. He says his party is urging supporters to vote in local races and on local issues.

"In Pueblo, in partisan politics for decades, so much of the game has been turning out our Democratic voters. And there's a large number of infrequent-voting Democrats in Pueblo who, if they all vote, make the difference for candidates across the board -- from the top to the bottom of the ticket."

Political analyst Joshua Dunn says the state's biggest city, Denver, tends to vote Democratic, so statewide races often are decided in the suburbs and outlying districts, such as Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs