Undecided voters hard to find | VailDaily.com

Undecided voters hard to find

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

By Lauren Glendenning


EAGLE COUNTY – The final push is almost over – local Democratic and Republican campaign volunteers have just one more day to try to convince voters who to vote for Tuesday.

And both sides agree that there isn’t much convincing really left to do – the job is now focused on making sure people vote, regardless of which box they mark on their ballots. Eagle County Clerk Teak Simonton expects roughly 4,000 voters to vote Tuesday out of approximately 19,000 votes she expects to be cast in the county. About 70 percent of those votes are coming in from mail-in ballots and another 10 percent from early voting.

The spotlight on Colorado continues as the Obama and Romney campaigns wind down and wait for results from the battleground state. All eyes are on Colorado, Ohio and Florida, among other key states, Tuesday to see who comes out on top.

Kaye Ferry, Eagle County Republicans chair, thinks she already knows the answer, and she’s hopeful the work Republicans have done locally pays off.

“I’m hoping we turn the county around to being Republican again – being a Democrat county is new to us,” Ferry said of Eagle County. “I believe the state is going to go Republican, too.”

Ferry doesn’t think there are many – if any – undecided voters left. As she has knocked on doors this campaign season, she feels most voters are certain or are just not comfortable talking about their choices.

“I think that people are not totally inclined to let you know what they’re going to do, particularly people who might have an inclination to vote Republican in what has pretty much turned into a Democratic county,” Ferry said.

Local Democratic activist and volunteer Debbie Marquez agrees that voters who have paid attention throughout the campaigns have probably already made up their minds. She added that the inundation of political advertisements in Colorado should have contributed to voter decisiveness.

“I don’t know very many people undecided,” Marquez said. “One friend of mine who’s not registered with either party – I don’t know if she’s registered as unaffiliated or not – she was considering voting for the third party candidate. I’m not sure if I’ve changed her mind yet or not.”

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler told CNN on Thursday that he has “no idea where things stand” in Colorado in terms of whether Obama or Romney is in the lead here. He did say that he predicts between 2.4 and 2.7 million votes cast, though.

A recent CNN poll shows Obama with a slight lead in Colorado, with 50 percent compared to Romney’s 48 percent. That’s within the margin of error, meaning it’s a statistical tie, according to CNN.

At the Obama field office in Edwards, volunteers took to the streets and the phones all weekend following a visit Thursday from actress Laura Dern. At that event, paid Obama campaign staffer Lander Karath told roughly 20 people in attendance they could have their lives back after the election.

“We’ve just got to work as hard as we can,” he said.

The Republicans have had roughly 50 volunteers knocking on doors each weekend, and they haven’t slowed down, either.

And while both sides express confidence heading into Tuesday night, everyone knows how close the race has been so far.

Local Republicans felt a huge confidence boost after the first debate, and the momentum has been up and down since then. Democrats, too, have risen and fallen with the political campaign tide.

About 1.5 million people have voted in Colorado already, but the early ballot tallies won’t be released until after the polls close Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.

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