Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Obama Plays Defense in Colorado

Colorado has joined the ranks of key battleground states of Ohio, Virginia and Florida. President Barack Obama will visit to promote his $447 billion stimulus legislation.

The latest round of trips launch the President’s fall offensive following his post Labor Day joint session speech. His primary message is to the Democratic base. The Colorado speech is in a Hispanic neighborhood high school in Democratic Denver.

The Colorado Democratic Party has a dominant liberal wing, which handed the state’s delegation overwhelmingly to Obama in the 2008 presidential caucus. And, although labor unions are weak political players in Colorado, they have, like nationally, been more aggressive in recent years with well-placed campaign contributions and effective influence in nomination battles.

Most sought after in general elections are the Hispanic and African-American voter blocs, who can be motivated to vote and have elected local minority leaders who are national players, like former mayors Wellington Webb and Federico Pena.

Obama’s core supporters have been complaining of the lack of a fight in the President and the absence of plan to get long-suffering minority and labor groups jobs. The challenge is to also communicate to the large and critical independent bloc of Colorado voters. The campaign is attempting the difficult task of fueling up the base while still appealing to independents with a message that Republicans are being unreasonable and holding up solutions.

It’s not clear the strategy will work. The message sounds right – bashing Washington always plays – but the visuals and the tone of the visit may be too hot and too partisan for suburban independents.

In general, Obama is playing defense in a state he won by 9 points in 2008.

See articles:
Denver PostPresident Obama to address the public in Denver today to build his base with jobs speech
PoliticoNo Rocky Mountain high for Obama

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