CHARLOTTE, Colo. (CBS4) – President Obama needs to rekindle the fire he had four years ago at Mile High Stadium, but Colorado delegates admit the energy level isn’t like it was in 2008.
From bumper stickers to buttons, t-shirts to tote bags, there is no shortage of Obama paraphernalia at the Democratic National Convention. But what is in short supply, according to some, is passion for the president.
“I know that the feeling is different this time than it was last time,” Colorado delegate Leslie Herod said.
Herod said while there may be less enthusiasm, there is no more party unity.
“I was a super delegate for Hillary (Clinton),” Colorado delegate Manny Rodriguez said.
An ugly primary in 2008 divided the party. But this year it’s singular in its mission to get Obama re-elected.
“This election will definitely come down to turnout, and I think you turn out for someone you believe in, who you see yourself in, and who has a clear vision for you,” Herod said.
The Republican Party’s various factions could hurt its turnout strategy, but Herod says Democrats are not only less divisive, but more diverse. Colorado’s delegation reflects that. It has the second highest percentage of gay delegates of any state at the convention. Half the delegation is women and more than a third minority.
Obama needs them all in Colorado where voter registration numbers show more Republicans than Democrats and Independents outnumber both.
“We do have our work cut out for us,” Colorado delegate Sheila Lieder said.
Lieder lives in Jefferson County where suburban moms could swing the election as more women are registered than men.
“Women have to wake up. They need to understand what’s at stake and it’s going to be our job to get out there and motivate them,” Lieder said.
The Latino vote in Colorado is also critical.
“I think he’ll pick up over 80 percent of the Latino vote,” Rodriguez said.
“You know we might not beat them in fundraising, but we’re going to beat them on the ground,” Herod said. “We’re going to knock on every door in Colorado.”
They may have gone to the convention with less enthusiasm, but Colorado’s delegation says it left energized.