In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama’s campaign spoke of a fifty-state strategy, creating battlegrounds out of previously uncompetitive states. In reality, this amounted to red-leaning states being in play due to Mr. Obama’s lead in the popular vote. For the most part, ’04 swing states remained ’08 swing states.
There were, nevertheless, two states which graduated into the “swing state” class. These – Colorado and Virginia – became core components of the election campaign. Winning Virginia constituted political offense for Mr. Obama, while winning Colorado defined the difference between being elected president and going back to the Senate.
Over the next few weeks, I will be analyzing the political demographics of both states – where Democrats are strongest, where Republicans are strongest, and why. The next post in this series will focus on Virginia.