RNC: Colorado “important” but not a must-win for Romney
Rick Wiley, RNC Political Director
LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Inside the Mitt Romney for President offices here Tuesday, a room full of staffers worked the phones, calling independent voters and trying to determine which way they’re leaning.
This kind of activity roughly 120 days prior to Election Day is an indication of how important Colorado may be in the battle to reach 270 electoral votes.
“Four years ago, you probably wouldn’t see this kind of activity this early in the cycle,” Rick Wiley, the RNC’s Political Director, told FOX31 Denver on Tuesday. “We’re building upon what we built in 2010 and I think we’re right where we need to be right now.”
Colorado isn’t only one of 10 or 11 swing states that will likely decide November’s presidential election, it’s also a state where voters don’t wait until the last minute to make up their mind.
“This is a huge absentee, early-vote state,” Wiley said. “Eighty percent of voters will vote before Election Day. So everything is kind of accellerated. There’s a huge volunteer component right now that goes into this.”
Even in an age of SuperPACS, both campaigns believe grassroots volunteers and a strong ground game can tip states in their favor.
“Right now, our volunteers are identifying our target voters,” Wiley said. “Then, the next phase is going after them.”
In Colorado and Nevada, both states with growing Latino populations, the RNC has Hispanic coordinators on the ground targeting Latino voters, who, according to polls, favor President Obama over Romney by nearly a 3-to-1 margin.
Republicans, however, are chipping away, unwilling to cede such a large voting bloc to Obama.
“We’re in the game and that’s where we need to be.”
But if the Latino vote turns Colorado blue on Election Night, Mitt Romney can still win the presidency — at least Wiley thinks so.
“There are a variety of paths to 270, but this is an important state,” he said. “The West is much different than the East or the Midwest, but it’s important.”