Campaign down to rallying supporters

Editor’s note: This is the Cortez Journal’s weekly roundup of campaign news.

With just more than a week until Election Day, both presidential campaigns tried hard this week to convince people that they are out-hustling their opponents in key swing states like Colorado.

Republican Mitt Romney held a 10,000-person rally at Red Rocks with Kid Rock, giving it the air of a rock concert and victory party.

Nationally, GOP strategists pointed to numbers that they said prove they are doing a better job turning out their supporters to vote early.

Democrats called it all a bluff, to create an air of inevitable victory and sway last-minute voters.

“(Republicans are) hard-pressed in making a credible case that they are winning the ground war in this election,” said Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee, in a memo.

The latest numbers in Colorado show that 244,000 registered Republicans had voted early as of Thursday, besting Democrats by about 18,000.

Dems close gap: Intense voter registration drives this year have put the parties on equal footing in Colorado.

Democrats now lag Republicans by just 6,500 voters, out of more than 1.1 million registered voters in each party. At the beginning of the year, Republicans held a 110,000-voter edge on Colorado Democrats.

Unaffiliated voters, though, moved into a clear plurality, with nearly 1.3 million Coloradans choosing not to join any party. At the beginning of the year, the state had just 640,000 unaffiliated voters.

Marijuana still leading: Amendment 64, which would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, was winning in the latest public poll. Coloradans favor it by 53 percent to 43 percent, according to a survey of 904 likely voters by Public Policy Polling. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

‘My friend Sal Pace:’ That was the subject of a Friday email from former President Bill Clinton, seeking fundraising help for the Pueblo Democrat. Pace is trying to keep up with Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, who raised more money throughout the year and also has the benefit of a $1.3 million television campaign by Americans for Tax Reform.

Poll position: Romney slightly widened his lead this week in the Real Clear Politics average of polls, to 0.4 percentage points. However, the RCP average did not include surveys from two Democratic-leaning firms that showed President Barack Obama leading the state by 3 percentage points.

Countdown: 10 days until Election Day.

joeh@cortezjournal.com