EAGLE - Nearly 100 people showed up at the new Eagle County Republicans office to show support for the Mitt Romney campaign as its bus rolled through during a tour of Colorado.
Republicans showed enthusiasm for their party's presidential candidate and pointed toward the number of Republicans who are getting involved locally this election season.
It all began with the caucuses in February, said Kaye Ferry, Eagle County Republican chair.
"The most we've ever had before was 185 - we had 550 in February," Ferry said, referring to turnout. "I think there's a real enthusiasm here."
Since the county assembly, Ferry said there's been about 500 voters who have moved from unaffiliated to Republican in Eagle County.
At the new campaign office, located at 50 Chambers Ave., behind the Eagle Diner, Ferry and other Eagle County Republicans Central Committee members plan to help get people registered to vote. They will also host various events, including viewings of all three presidential debates, the first of which is scheduled for Oct. 3.
Romney campaign spokesman Chris Walker spoke to the crowd Saturday morning in front of the Romney bus on the fourth day of the campaign's five-day tour around the state. Romney is set to speak at an event in Pueblo today.
"The energy and enthusiasm we feel and see in Colorado is so, so strong," Walker said. "This is a state that President Obama won by 9 points in 2008, and (now) it is a dead heat."
Walker referred to a Denver Post poll released Friday that shows President Obama ahead "by a single, statistically insignificant percentage point, 47 to 46 percent," the Denver Post reported.
The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points, reported 34 percent of voters in the sample said they were Republicans, 34 percent said Democrats and 30 percent said unaffiliated.
It's the unaffiliated vote in Eagle County that has both parties scrambling. At 8,319 registered unaffiliated voters as of Sept. 1, there are a lot of local votes up for grabs.
Walker said one of the challenges in Colorado will be finding "those disillusioned Obama voters and making sure they understand what Gov. Romney presents to them as a better alternative."
"That's where this election is decided, with a lot of those voters who kind of bought into the hope and change in 2008, but feel like (Obama) hasn't lived up to the promises that were made," Walker said.
Folks in the crowd made sure Walker got the message that Eagle County Republicans want Romney's message to be loud and clear as the election approaches. Buddy Shipley, for example, told Walker the campaign needs to stop talking about keeping any part of Obamacare.
"We need to stop talking about keeping any kind of alignment with Obamacare - we need to repeal it in its entirety," Shipley said, referring to the campaign's message that Obamacare needs to be "repealed and replaced."
Walker assured Shipley that "replace" refers to bringing free market forces into health care.