Last week I looked at the news from the Pacific Northwest & northern Interior Mountain states (AK, WA, OR, NV, ID, MT) Today, I take a look at developments in Colorado and New Mexico.
Democrats have an unprecedented opportunity to expand our national majority by making inroads in this fast-growing region - long dominated by libertarian Republicans. The recent nativist anti-Latino rhetoric spewing from the GOP risks turning the legal immigrant community - a huge and growing voting bloc in this region - against the Republicans for generations to come.
COLORADO: Purple Mountain's Majesty
Not only will the Mile High State host the 2008 Democratic National Convention next summer, but will also be the central in the Democrats' efforts to expand their Senate majority and expel one of the most controversial conservative House members. National parties are focusing their attention on this important swing state.
Two excellent local blogs for daily news on the Rocky Mtn state's political developments are ColoradoPols.com and (for a more progressive focus) SquareState.net. The changing demographics in the state are making strange bedfellows, as liberal Mark Udall and conservative Marilyn Musgrave both try to move toward the middle. Three races will determine whether Colorado continues its recent transition from Red to Blue:
- CO-Sen: America's only 2008 open (thus far) senate seat dominates politics this cycle. The battle between Dem Rep. Mark Udall and GOP Bob Schaffer is well underway. "CO-Sen: Is Udall the Favorite in the Open Seat Contest?"
- CO-02: Democratic constituencies are vying in a competitive primary to fill the 2nd District seat being vacated by Udall. Will the netroots prevail over the establishment and green candidates in the race? "CO-02: Progressive Constituencies Battle in Primary"
- CO-04: Mad Marilyn Musgrave is a national Dem target who came close to defeat in 2006. A crowded Dem primary field has already formed. The dynamics of the primary race have been discussed here and here. Today, I discuss Musgrave's efforts to repackage her image and focus on constituent concerns in "CO-04: Will Musgrave's Moderate Makeover Succeed?"
The actions and political maneuvering of two officials - Sen. "Pajama Pete" Domenici and Gov. Bill Richardson - dominate New Mexico politics. Domenici has watched his longtime popularity plummet throughout 2007 as he found himself in national headlines. How Domenici's struggles to regain his footing and Richardson's presidential ambitions affect the state's politics are discussed in "NM-Sen: Waiting for the Dominos to Fall"
Cross-posted at An Enduring Democratic Majority.