11:11am

Tue October 2, 2012
Election 2012

On The Eve Of The First Debate, Colorado Is In The Election Spotlight

Colorado is a new player among the battleground states in national elections. There was a time when the state voted reliably in one direction, now it's increasingly purple.

From the onslaught of election ads, especially in swing areas like Colorado Springs, to the many visits to the state by both the President and Mitt Romney, Colorado's election profile is a mile high. The AP's Peter Banda spoke with Dick Wadhams, a former Colorado Republican party chairman, for a video report filed on Tuesday.

"I remember the days when a President or a Presidential Candidate would rarely make an appearance here," says Wadhams in the video.

That sentiment was echoed by Jody Hope Strogoff from The Colorado Statesman. She spoke with Brian Larson earlier on Morning Edition. As Jody reminisces,

"I remember many years ago when Colorado felt left out, like no one was paying attention to Colorado because it didn't have many electoral votes. But here we are the center of the world this week. It seems like both parties have converged on Denver."

Colorado's profile is about to go center stage with Wednesday's Presidential Debate. With the focus on domestic issues like the economy, governing and healthcare, Colorado is going to have an opportunity to place its imprimatur solidly on the national campaign.

A new New York Times FiveThirtyEight forecast from Monday has the probability of President Obama winning Colorado at 76.1 percent, it also gives Colorado 5.7 percent chance of providing the decisive electoral college vote.

The state shouldn't get to excited though, of the nine swing states this year Ohio is still the top dog. Colorado falls 7th on the list, but that is a testament to the state's growing importance.