Can Obama Turn Colorado Blue?

Republicans used to be able to count on Colorado. But a look at change in one blue collar county reveals why the state may go for Obama

Matt Slaby / Luceo for TIME

Coloradans are proud of their political independence

The New Battlegrounds: Arapahoe County, Colo.

Colorado is lovely in the fall. But by all rights, it shouldn't be on a Democratic presidential candidate's travel schedule once October rolls around. In the past 40 years, only one Democrat has claimed the state's electoral votes. Democrats trail both Republicans and independents in party registration. Outside of Birkenstock-and-muesli enclaves like Boulder, Colorado is still culturally a frontier state.

Yet with Election Day about a month away, the battle for Colorado is fiercer than the annual Buffaloes vs. Rams college-football showdown. Barack Obama recently passed through on his ninth visit, while John...

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