Not matter what you think of Karl Rove, you must acknowledge that he is one of the better political strategists around today. You don't map out victory in two presidential elections without an in depth knowledge of the ins and outs of politcs throughout the country.
In a tour de force piece in today's Wall Street Journal, Rove fleshes out in wonderful detail why he believes Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia are the key battleground states of 2008. His take on politics in Colorado is especially incisive and complete:
If you're a political junkie or if you just want a clear eyed view of what both campaigns are thinking, read the whole piece.
Of the two, Mr. Obama is best positioned to pick up Colorado's nine electoral votes. Denver hosts the Democratic convention at the end of this month. And a quartet of local millionaires (mini-George Soroses) have spent lavishly to boost Democrats. They have succeeded at shrinking the Republican advantage among registered voters. The GOP now has just 68,507 more voters on the rolls in Colorado than Democrats, down from a 176,572 edge four years ago.
Democrats win the state when they hold down GOP margins in rural districts, and appeal to swing women voters in Larimer County and the Denver suburbs. Mr. Obama lacks rural credentials, but he might make inroads in the suburbs.
Sen. McCain's independence will help him in Colorado. Also, there will be two anti-union initiatives on the ballot this fall that could energize conservatives. But he needs to run up votes in the GOP strongholds of El Paso (Colorado Springs), Douglas (south of Denver), Weld (Eastern Plains) and Mesa (Western Slope) counties, while appealing to Democratic and independent Hispanics and Catholics.