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Nine Is Enough

The Obama states most at risk.

Aug 15, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 45 • By KATE HAVARD
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Richard Wadhams, former state chairman of the Republican party, says Colorado will be “very competitive” in 2012. “Colorado voters go a third Republican, a third Democrat, and a third unaffiliated, and that third swings heavily.”

The swinging third consists largely of “socially liberal, fiscally conservative women in the Denver suburbs,” Wadhams says. These women “will vote for a Republican they disagree with on social issues if they think he’s prioritizing economic and fiscal issues.”

Consultants across these states agree: Make the election about money, and Obama’s on the ropes. But the president’s problems aren’t limited to the economy. There’s also an enthusiasm deficit among Democrats.

 In Iowa (6 electoral votes), voters are “unhappy,” said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. “I’ve talked to a number of people on the left who say they worked for Obama in the caucuses but feel let down. .  .  . Iowa’s a pretty evenly balanced state and it doesn’t take much to tip it,” Yepsen said.

He added that Republicans will have “one hell of an organizational edge out of their organizing for the [Iowa] caucuses. They’ll have superior lists, good workers on the ground, and the networks identified to go dig out marginal supporters all over the state. Meanwhile, Democrats are sitting around in a funk.”

It’s clear the Republican presidential candidate has a reasonable chance to win in 2012. That doesn’t mean he or she will. The campaign—and especially the candidate—could make all the difference.

Kate Havard is an intern at The Weekly Standard.

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