In D.C., parties eagerly awaited Colorado swing

State remained a battleground to the end

Hundreds of Republican faithful gathered Tuesday night at a party organized by the Republican National Committee, in Washington, D.C. Enlargephoto

LEIGH GIANGRECO/Durango Herald

Hundreds of Republican faithful gathered Tuesday night at a party organized by the Republican National Committee, in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON – Colorado sent both Republicans and Democrats for a loop Tuesday night, with both parties enthusiastic about their candidate’s prospects. Polls from early voting had shown a Romney victory, but by midnight the state stayed blue.

At a party held at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington hosted by the Republic National Committee, hundreds of Republicans gathered while country music echoed through the vaulted ceilings lit by red and blue spotlights. Attendees in the crowd, filled with many young party members, said that although Obama advocated early voting, it wouldn’t change public opinion. Paul Mendelson, a Republican consultant from Denver, said that the early voting was a good indicator.

“I think it’s emblematic of the way the state actually feels,” Mandelson said.

Cody Dietrich, an intern on the Hill and Colorado Springs native, said that this election energized the youth vote more than 2008. “I go to school at Texas Tech, and I’ve seen a huge Republican turnout,” Dietrich said.

The Democrats opted for a smaller, more intimate approach for their event sponsored by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. At a small hotel ballroom filled with about 300 people, Democrat staffers gathered with drinks around a few large screen televisions. Many there predicted that while Colorado was a swing state this year, the key came down to Ohio. Kaly Sanchez, a recent D.C. transplant from Arvada, said that Obama would secure victory with the Midwestern state.

Obama lobbied women’s health issues heavily in Colorado, joining activist Sandra Fluke at one rally this past summer, trying for the key female vote in the state.

“I was a big advocate for women’s, as well as gay and lesbian rights,” Sanchez said, when asked about the most important issue to her this election.

Katy Schultz, disagreed. For her the issue came down to the economy. “When I graduated from CU Boulder in 2009, the economy was just getting bad,” Schultz said. “For me, I’m not necessarily stressed about women’s issues. Women aren’t thinking about the right to choose if they don’t have job,” she said.

Leigh Giangreco is an intern for The Durango Herald and a student at American University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at lgiangreco@durangoherald.com.

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