COLORADO STAR WARS: Aing-Tii View of Politics

Colorado Peak Politics beat New York magazine's Obama campaign cover story on Colorado as THE path to reelection. Fans, grab those I-net courier tubes and start with John Heilemann. Then catch Michael Barone saying Obama's managers are “fooling themselves about what will work.” For Colorado, here's the Dems' “house of cards” plan for our state.

Barone highlights the peril of campaigning to contrasting voter groups – blue collar families versus the upper crust $100,000. Blue collar voters don't see why eggheads should be at the front of the line. Especially with Ward Churchill back in the news, boosting Republican Regent candidates.

2008 was easy. Blue collar voters feared job loss. Plush neighborhoods loathed W. Young, often Independent, voters could vote anti-war with the young guy against oldster McCain. And Boomers just knew Obama fit their 60s zeitgeist. Choom!

The new Marist poll (Obama up 1%) of Colorado has a slim 7% of Republicans backing Obama. 52% of Romney voters are enthusiastic about the election while only 43% of Obamaites are (includes leaners). Enthusiasm is also stronger among conservatives than liberals, men than women, white than non-white or Latino, evangelicals than other groups and older than younger voters. Not a constellation of stars favoring Obama. The poll's “downer” is stronger than expected support for Obama in suburbs.

Let's get granular in the Jeffco suburbs where we can compare these findings to 2008. Three things stand out.

Republicans' Affair with Obama Fading

First, a vote-prediction model based on each precinct's active voter numbers by party in 2008 shows Obama did better than the model predicted where Republicans dominated. About one in six Republicans abandoned McCain here in Colorado. Today? Scant Republican willingness to support Obama.

Wary Blue Collar Voters

Second, really Democratic-dominated Jeffco neighborhoods backed McCain a bit more than expected. This was, it seems, a harbinger of the blue collar disaffection sweeping Republicans into office across America in 2010.

Unpredictable Obama Support

Third, McCain's precinct results closely matched the model while Obama's results varied – both better and worse than predicted. Obama's fuzzy results may stem from his gigantic campaign war chest – hundreds of millions more than McCain. Or it could betoken weak voter adhesion to Obama, Independent voters just going with the media and cash-induced flow. This year Aing-Tii flow walking shows a different vista.

New Coalition of Factors

For movers and shakers of political money in Colorado – lobbyists, union bosses, big givers – 2012 is complicated. Beginning in 2004, these folks saw Democrats win the cash wars. 2008's initiative wars cost $73 Million, mostly union cash. Money took down Ken Buck in 2010. Not this year.

As Heilemann reported, “we are about to witness the improbable development of an incumbent president’s being financially overmatched.” Colorado's TV stations will prosper – with advantage Republicans.

Colorado's civil union flapdoodle, redux, aimed to protect local Dems from a cash deficit. Every participant knew about kill committees, so legislative defeat was predictable. Where will gay activists spend their cash? I'd wager ever-evolving Obama gets it, but I don't pretend to think like Gill or Stryker.

Might unions quit funding ersatz Wells Fargo protests to spend big money in legislative races? A Walker win in Wisconsin (7% up, whoo-hoo) would suggest protecting their big state bases. Union members won't cheer their leaders if they win some Colorado state legislative races but lose the White House.

Jedi rules of engagement emphasize defense. Voters now see that Democrats have run out of ideas that will fix our economy. Before they cast their ballots, they will need continued support and contact to maintain that vision. Accept the new favorable ground, work hard to preserve it and victory will occur.