To follow up the series on Colorado, I’ve posted a few recent presidential elections in the state (courtesy of the New York Times). Each map comes with some brief analysis.
Boosted by a Democratic National Convention held in Denver, Senator Barack Obama wins a thorough victory in the ultimate swing state of 2008. The Democratic candidate does especially well in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Denver – winning several outright and dampening margins in Douglas County and Colorado Springs.
Written off early as a sure Republican victory, Colorado surprises pundits in 2004 with a surprisingly strong Democratic performance. It is one of the few states where Democrats do better than in 2000 as they pick up the 2000 Ralph Nader vote.
Governor George W. Bush performs well throughout the Rocky Mountains in 2000, and Colorado is no exception. With Green Party candidate Ralph Nader pulling off a substantial bloc of liberal voters, Mr. Bush even cracks the Democratic “C” that composes the Democratic base of Colorado.
Conservative Colorado returns to form in 1996; President Bill Clinton loses the state by the barest of margins as conservative Ross Perot voters go Republican. Republican Bob Dole wins based off Republican strength in Colorado Springs and rural Colorado.
Surprise! – reliably Republican Colorado votes Democratic for the first time in a generation, and for the first time in a competitive race since the days of Harry Truman. To be fair, this map somewhat overstates Democratic strength: Republican margins are dampened by Ross Perot’s strength amongst conservatives.