Obama faithful ride in to help

GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel—Having ceded their state to Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the presidential race, Utah Democrats such as John Griswold, left, say they can have more impact politically in a state where the race is a tossup.

As outsourcing remains a potent political issue, Colorado Democrats are insourcing campaign help to the Western Slope as they try to tug Colorado their way.

Democrats from Salt Lake City with no hope of tipping the Beehive State away from Republican Mitt Romney are making regular trips to Grand Junction to walk precincts with Colorado Democrats. Dozens fanned out of the Grand Junction Obama headquarters on Saturday morning to knock on doors and try to persuade undecided Coloradans to vote for President Barack Obama.

“At least I feel like I can have some impact on the election” by bolting redder-than-red Utah for a day to campaign in swing-state Colorado, John Griswold said as he prepared to knock on doors. “I’ve lived in Salt Lake City for 40 years and my vote has never made a difference.”

Colorado Republicans, meanwhile, were counting on fellow GOPers from Kansas to walk precincts in Pueblo to try to win votes for Romney in that stronghold, Justin Miller of the state Republican Party said.

Romney campaign officials, meanwhile, touted some early indicators favoring Romney, noting in particular that Republicans statewide are leading Democrats in terms of requests for absentee ballots statewide and in the Democrat stronghold of Pueblo County.

Mesa County’s Republican leanings are no surprise to Dean Campbell, 62, of Taylorsville, Utah, who made his second trip Saturday to Mesa County to urge votes for Obama.

“I see a 50-50 split” as he’s been talking to voters, Campbell said.

His most effective arguments among those who are undecided are those about preserving the middle class and increasing employment, Campbell said.

Campbell was joined by several students, some of whom won’t be old enough to vote by Nov. 6, who drove across the state line to rally the Obama vote.

“We care a lot about the future,” said 17-year-old Kate Lips of Salt Lake City. Lips will turn 18 in time to vote, she said, but 17-year-old Joran Carlson won’t.

Still, Carlson said, “I hope to change some people’s minds for the election.”

Democrats walking the precincts will fill in reports to be tabulated by the campaign so that potential Obama voters can be contacted regularly until they send in their mail-in ballots or cast their vote on Election Day, officials reminded them.

The president’s widely panned debate performance in Denver, as well as the GOP registration advantage in the state, bode well for Romney, said Clay Sutton, Colorado GOP Victory communications director.

Republicans led Democrats last week in absentee requests by almost 26,000 voters, or 1.37 percent, Sutton said. Absentee-ballot requests also are up in Douglas County, which was won by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., by 17 points in 2008, Sutton said.


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