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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid