DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is expected to be a highly competitive swing state during the general election in November and the state should expect more visits by the candidates.

“I don’t think we should go to the moon. I think we should sent some politicians up there,” Republican candidate Ron Paul said.

The moon may be out, but the road to the White House runs through Colorado. Over the next 2 weeks Republican heavy hitters will descend on Colorado hoping to gain ground before the Colorado Republican Caucus on Feb. 7.

“It’s really exciting to have the eyes of the nation on Colorado,” said Ryan Call, Colorado Republican Party Chairman. “Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney will be here early next week. Ron Paul will be in the state (Tuesday), and Rick Santorum will be here in Colorado later this week as well.”

Call says Republicans moved the caucus from March to February to have a bigger role in the presidential race. Candidates have spent tens of thousands of dollars hoping to make an impression in Colorado.

“So the fact that they are all coming here tells you something,” Call said. “Laying the groundwork for success in our state is key to their victory.”

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Call says even though Minnesota’s caucus and Missouri’s primary are the same day as Colorado’s caucus, candidates realize the focus is specifically on the West. Colorado is a swing state with an educated workforce, a growing economy and a focus on agriculture and energy.

“A win in this state and a win in the West could shift the momentum,” Call said.

President Obama visited Colorado last week, with several more visits expected before the general election. Call says the next few weeks may be a preview of coming attractions.

“Obama understands and so do we that as Colorado goes, so could go the nation,” Call said.


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