Colorado part 2
With the Front Range as a backdrop for the Democratic National Convention, this is the second of a multi-part series on Colorado. It may help the questions Why Denver and Why now? One answer is demographics.
There is one clear reason the Democratic convention [is being] held in Denver: Colorado is ground zero in a crucial shift in the partisan balance of power that has the potential to restore Democratic dominance in presidential elections and bring an end to the conservative era of the past 40 years.
The demographic trends here and in New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona all tilt the playing field in favor of the Democrats and threaten traditional Republican strength in the mountain states of the west. There are similar, but not as strong, trends in such Northwest mountain states as Montana and North Dakota.
One reason these [Intermountain] states are increasingly “in play” is the rapid population growth among two key demographic segments—Hispanics and white college graduates—and the concomitant decline of the white working class.
In Colorado, these trends could have their strongest impact in the “battle of the suburbs” within the Denver metro (50 percent of state population), where Democrats need to expand their 2004 margin and the GOP needs to hold the line, and in the “battle of the metros” elsewhere, which pits the Democratic-trending Fort Collins metro, now the fourth largest in the state against the smaller GOP-trending metros of Grand Junction and fast-growing Greeley. Overall, the GOP will be looking to maintain their strong support among the declining white working class, the key to their electoral prospects. The Democrats will be relying on white college graduates, who are rapidly growing and have been moving toward the Democrats, especially since 2000 and Hispanics, who have been driving the growth of the minority vote and vote heavily Democratic.
More on the implications of this in a future post.
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