Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Four years ago, Colorado -- a state whose name is derived from the Spanish word for red -- was true to that label on the political map. Republicans held the governor's mansion, both U.S. Senate seats, five of seven congressional seats and both houses of the legislature. President George W. Bush carried the state by 5 points.
This year, Democrats see opportunity instead of defeat. They are banking on their presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, carrying Colorado. The party expects to pick up a Senate seat and possibly two in the House, including one in reliably Republican Larimer County, where voters haven't sent a Democrat to Congress since 1970.
``There's a tectonic shift in the state's politics,'' said Matt Ferrauto of the Colorado Democratic Party. State polls suggest strong showings for Democratic candidates running for offices ranging from magistrate to president; this pattern has emerged in almost two-dozen states as Democrats see the best national conditions for their party since the 1970s.
Seventeen hundred miles away, in the onetime Republican stronghold of Loudoun County, Virginia, Obama has 60 full-time volunteers and 700 part-timers helping out at a Leesburg storefront. The Republican candidate, John McCain, has yet to open an office in the county. In Virginia, which hasn't backed a Democrat for president in 44 years, Obama has four times more offices than McCain, and state polls show them in a dead heat.
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