Written by Dominic Dezzutti

Most Coloradans understand how living in a swing state effects their lives during an election. We get more political ads on our airwaves, more political mailers in our mailbox and overall, more attention from a variety of campaigns. It can be an uncomfortable status to hold, but being a swing state is a duty we as Coloradans handle with pride.

As hard as it may be for all Coloradans to live in a swing state, it will be even harder for residents in two counties to hide from the intense attention of the Presidential campaigns.

Arapahoe and Jefferson counties are swing counties in a swing state. With the political balance in each county, and the race staying tight, residents in both counties should get used to rallies, appearances and everything that comes with increased visits from all of the candidates.

This attention may have a few ramifications for our suburban friends that they may or may not be expecting.

First, the increased visits will put a focus on how each county is doing. Any campaign can make their point with more impact if they can use an example from the county they are visiting. That may be a positive example of success, or a negative example of policy failure. Likely, we’ll see a lot of both.

In fact, we may see the same target in one county used both as a positive and a negative. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is a good example. For the Obama campaign, NREL remains a bright spot as a source for innovation and a center for many jobs in Jefferson County.

However, for the Romney campaign, NREL is not a sign of a program that he would want to expand in his administration. I could see him using the backdrop of NREL as way to talk about failed tax incentives for some solar companies, a problem that has dogged President Obama for the last year.

Secondly, residents in both Jeffco and Arapahoe counties may get campaign fatigue far faster than other residents in Colorado. With increased attention at every level, it will be easy for moderate, independent voters to potentially check out of the process early due to how negative some of the attention will be. Hopefully it won’t happen like that, but it’s certainly possible.

Finally, remember these two names, Pam Anderson and Nancy Doty. They are the Clerk and Recorders for Jefferson and Arapahoe counties, respectively. They will oversee the predicted tight election results in both of the key counties in Colorado. While it should not come down to two counties in the entire United States, if the vote is tight in Colorado, accurate results from these two counties will be key.

Overall, attention should be a fun thing to endure this time of year. As annoying as it may be at times, being totally ignored is a far worse situation to be in. Residents in Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties will not need to worry about being ignored this fall. It may be hot under the spotlight, but in the end, it may help both counties see their issues addressed by leaders at the highest levels.

About The Blogger

– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.


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