Your Election Day look at the Colorado races that will be talked about today.
1. THE BATTLEGROUND OF BATTLEGROUNDS
Pollsters from all corners of the political world agree: Colorado’s 9 electoral college votes for president could go to either President Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney. Plan on a late night to see who wins this one. Some political operatives who have been following Colorado closely say the state could be lucky to know by dawn Wednesday whether Democrats can keep Colorado in their column, or whether the GOP will prevail.
2. CONGRESS IS UP FOR GRABS, TOO
All seven U.S. House districts in Colorado are at stake. Republicans hold a 4-3 advantage in the House delegation, but Democrats hope to pick off a couple GOP incumbents and regain the majority. But Democrats are defending some turf, too. Rep. Ed Perlmutter in Denver’s suburbs faces a vigorous challenge from Republican Joe Coors.
3. MARIJUANA MATTERS
Colorado is one of three states deciding whether to allow marijuana use without a doctor’s recommendation. A constitutional amendment would set up a direct challenge to federal law by allowing adults over 21 to possess up to an ounce of the drug. Polls show recreational pot has a shot of passage in Colorado, which has allowed marijuana for people with certain medical conditions for 12 years.
4. THE VOTE ITSELF IS BEING WATCHED
Political operatives are watching closely to make sure no polling errors delay vote results. Colorado’s secretary of state says a wide majority of Colorado voters have already cast their ballots by mail or in person. But the tight nature of many contests means any snags could have big consequences.
5. DON’T FORGET THE STATE RACES
State legislative races don’t grab headlines, but they make a big difference. The GOP is clinging to a one-seat majority in the state House, and Democrats hope to hang onto power in the state Senate. Control of the Legislature determines which party controls legislation on everything from same-sex unions to school funding.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)