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 Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More