THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – The race for the White House is neck and neck and one of Colorado’s congressional races is also expected to be close.
Republican Joe Coors is hoping to unseat three-term Democrat Ed Perlmutter, and the race is getting national attention.
The district covers Jefferson County, one that both parties say will be critical to winning the White House. Republicans and Democrats each believe their internal polling shows they have a lead. While neither can agree on the number, both say it will be close.
“Things are going to get really, really tight,” Coors said.
Campaigners in the northern part of the Denver metro area may have been spared an awkward moment by just a few minutes on Saturday. Coors worked to organize his campaign and just a few blocks away Perlmutter pressed his own re-election.
“I think it comes down to this kind of grassroots, door-to-door, meeting people, effort,” Perlmutter said.
More than $1 million has gone into each campaign. Analysts say Coors has personally raised half of his campaign funds. Their ads are becoming more prominent on the air.
“The view right now is that it’s likely Democratic, but not solidly Democratic,” political analyst Norman Provizer said.
Provizer says the race between Coors and Perlmutter may provide insight into which presidential candidate will win Colorado.
“If you can’t win that district, and again largely Jefferson County, you’re going to have trouble throughout the entire state,” he said.
Republicans feel confident it’s a seat they can steal. They believe the area became more conservative when new district lines were drawn after 2010. Both campaigns say the race could be decided by individually meeting the voters.
“Stay away from arguing, because if you get in an argument you’ve lost your time because the next house down the road could be a yes vote and you’ll miss them,” Coors said.
“We’ve got to just do all the things we know how to do,” Perlmutter said. “Walking door-to-door, making the phone calls, visiting with people at the grocery stores, and really making that kind of voter contact that I think makes the difference.”
Both parties anticipate money outside the individual campaigns to increase before election day. A political action committee supporting Democratic congressional candidates has already run some of the strongest attacks on Coors, calling his views too extreme.