Wednesday, August 27, 2008
By Ryan Lizza | NewYorker.com
One day in early August, Bill Ritter, Jr., the governor of Colorado, met with Steve Feld, a professional filmmaker, to work on the video that will welcome delegates to the Democratic National Convention—and present Colorado to the rest of the country. Feld, whose television credits include “The New Lassie” and “America’s Funniest People,” steered the Governor toward a conference room on the seventeenth floor of a downtown building and clipped a microphone to his lapel. The backdrop for the shoot, visible through a window, was the city of Denver—bristling with construction cranes and skyscrapers for high-tech companies like Qwest Communications—and, in the distance, the Rockies.
Ritter was elected governor in 2006 by a persuasive seventeen-point margin—a victory that emphasized Colorado’s political transformation. In just the past four years, Democrats have won control of the sixty-five-member Colorado House, where they now hold a fifteen-seat majority, and the thirty-five-member Senate, where they’re up by five seats. In 2004, the Democrat Ken Salazar, a former state attorney general, won the United States Senate seat that was vacated by the Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell, and Democrats now occupy four of Colorado’s seven seats in the House of Representatives. This November, the Party is favored to win the state’s other Senate seat (the incumbent Republican, Wayne Allard, is retiring), and Democrats are increasingly confident about picking up a fifth House seat. (George W. Bush won Colorado in both of his Presidential elections, but his margin fell from eight points in 2000 to less than five points in 2004.) There’s a reason that the Party chose Denver as the host city for this year’s Convention: they expect that it will only help the Democratic Presidential nominee to win the state this fall....(Click here for remainder of article).