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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    '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.