The Wall Street Journal wades into the Battleground County of Arapahoe in Colorado:
While opinions are hardly uniform, some local voters who backed Mr. Obama four years ago now agree with Mr. Romney when he says the president is “attacking success,” according to interviews in Arapahoe County, Colo. Even as the president seems to have made strides with middle-class and working-class voters with his populist campaign message, the interviews suggest he risks alienating voters a notch higher on the income scale. Arapahoe County, home to aerospace workers, business managers and other professionals who occupy the upper tiers of the middle class, is one of three bellwether counties in the swing states of Colorado, Ohio and Florida that The Wall Street Journal is tracking through the November election.
The county is southeast of Denver and stretches across 72 miles of suburban and rural landscape. Arapahoe is home to the cities of Centennial and Greenwood Village, which have become suburban destinations for white-collar workers seeking quiet neighborhoods, good schools, smooth streets and Colorado’s only IKEA store. Centennial and Greenwood Village are home to a variety of companies, from life sciences to energy, defense and insurance. Many residents work in local office parks, avoiding the congested daily commute to Denver. Arapahoe County’s median income of $58,968 is a notch above the statewide figure of $56,456. Centennial’s median income of $85,185 and Greenwood Village’s $114,460 put them squarely in upper middle-class territory. In the 2008 election, the towns were evenly divided, with Mr. Obama winning Centennial by less than 200 votes out of more than 60,000 cast and Republican Sen. John McCain taking Greenwood Village by 118 votes out of 8,818 cast.
Obama critics say its class warfare
Mr. Obama’s rhetoric isn’t specifically directed at many of the families here. Those who fall below the threshold of $250,000 for families and $200,000 for individuals would see tax cuts extended a year under the president’s plan. The question is whether voters within striking distance of those tax brackets are comfortable with the president’s campaign tone. Scott Anderson, of Centennial, is one voter who isn’t. He co-founded a company that builds computers for the satellite industry. Mr. Obama “is constantly attacking the people who create jobs,” Mr. Anderson said. The president’s “class warfare pits people who have not been as industrious or as successful against those who create jobs,” he added. Mr. Anderson said Mr. Obama’s tax policies have cut into his ability to reinvest profits in his company. He would pay more under the president’s plan to allow tax cuts to expire for families earning more than $250,000. Mr. Anderson said his views weren’t shaped only by self interest. Both his company and the U.S. economy would suffer if the president wins a second term, he said. That sentiment is echoed by other business people here. When several members of Rotary Club of Littleton gathered for coffee recently, they cited regulations, bureaucratic hassles and tax policies that have persuaded them to support Mr. Romney. While most had heard few details from the Republican candidate, they said his broad vision was more business-friendly and, presumably, better for their families’ finances.