Tag Archives: Red Rocks

Red Rocks

Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan @ Red Rocks, CO Tuesday Oct 23

Colorado in Focus

Dan Balz has a really good write-up of the western states and specifically the campaigns’ focus on Colorado.  He does an especially good job of capturing the energy around Romney’s visit to Red Rocks Tuesday:

It was after sunset as the flashing lights of Mitt Romney’s motorcade began the steep and winding climb up the hills west of Denver on Tuesday. By the time the Republican candidate arrived at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, the rocks were rocking. Blue lights bathed the rock walls flanking the seating area. The Romney campaign’s stylized “R” logo was projected in white against the rocks. At the opposite end of the vast open-air setting, five American flags were hanging high up at the back of the big stage. The stage had a faux-autumn, western setting of fence posts, artificial grass, rocks and shrubs. The night air was seasonably warm. A crowd estimated at 12,000 people jammed into the outdoor concert venue. Romney patted his heart in response to the thunderous and sustained applause that greeted him when he was introduced on stage by running mate Paul Ryan. Spectators enthusiastically smacked together their red and white thunder sticks with the drop of every zinger or one-liner. For Romney, it was everything he might have hoped for.

The Republican presidential candidate had spent much of the day in the air. A five-hour flight took him from Florida, the scene of his final debate with President Obama, to Las Vegas, where he addressed another enthusiastic, though smaller, crowd at another, though less spectacular, outdoor amphitheater. He declared his campaign supercharged by the debates, and the crowd responded with an enormous roar. Then it was back into his motorcade for the quick drive across the dry, desert Nevada landscape to his campaign charter plane and the flight into Denver for his last stop of the day, to the most competitive of the Western battlegrounds and one that Romney’s campaign may need if he hopes to defeat the president in less than two weeks.

Western Battlegrounds

Four years ago, the Rocky Mountain West was the newly discovered hot spot in presidential politics, a region often ceded to Republicans in presidential campaigns but suddenly on everyone’s radar as a place the Democrats might make a breakthrough that could scramble long-held assumptions about the electoral map. Bill Clinton had won a few of these states when he was running for president, but his success was attributed more to the presence of Ross Perot on the ballot than some seismic shift in the electoral fortunes of national Democrats. Then the rising Hispanic population in states such as Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona began to change the political landscape. Democrats took note four years ago and poured money and effort into the region. They set their convention in Denver, and Obama gave his acceptance speech before more than 80,000 people at the stadium where the Denver Broncos play football. His campaign organized effectively, registering voters enough to significantly shift the partisan balance in some states. He won Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico on his way to victory.

Colorado in Focus

Colorado, with nine electoral votes, remains the big prize. Given the landscape in Nevada and New Mexico and Romney’s thread-the-needle path to 270 electoral votes, Colorado is a state he cannot afford to let slip away. Can he win without it? Yes, but as is the case with some other battlegrounds, without those nine votes, his route to victory becomes more difficult. Obama has now felt the highs and lows of mile-high Denver. Four years ago, it was the highs. He won the caucuses against Hillary Rodham Clinton on his way to the nomination and seemed to have a special attachment to the state and city. In the closing days of the 2008 race, he drew a crowd of 100,000 people in Denver, one of his biggest rallies in the city. This year, it could be remembered as the city where his campaign unraveled. His performance in the Denver debate three weeks ago marked a low point for the president. He has been fighting to recover ever since. Obama was scheduled to arrive in Denver on Wednesday afternoon for a big rally, an answer to Romney’s Tuesday evening appearance. His quick stop, part of his 48-hour swing through battleground states all across the country, was aimed at energizing the cadre of voters who were excited by hope and change four years ago and whose enthusiasm is needed to hold the state for a second time. The Denver debate brought a surge of energy to the state’s Republicans, which pulsated at Red Rocks on Tuesday night.

Where the race is won

Republicans need a big turnout in the more conservative areas but say they have little doubt they will get it. Ryan, whose pick cheered conservative Republicans, was working those areas this week. One GOP strategist said enthusiasm among Republicans is way up compared with four years ago. The keys, as has been said repeatedly, are the two big suburban counties around Denver, Jefferson and Arapahoe. There will be plenty written about Ohio, Florida and Virginia over the next dozen days. But no one should lose sight of the competition underway in this Rocky Mountain battleground.

Romney Rallies for Four Straight Days in Colorado

Colorado remains a vital state in this election but with all the focus on the Rust Belt it seems to get lost in the shuffle. Its 9 electoral votes are more than either Iowa and Nevada which can change the balance of power is this essentially tied election.  Starting yesterday, the Romney campaign kicked off four straight days of events culminating with Mitt Romney himself looking to fill up the famed Red Rocks concert venue.  For each site I provided links to RSVP for the event.  Tickets are going fast as I believe the Red Rocks event is already sold out!

Saturday (yesterday)

Saturday morning, comedian Jeff Foxworthy will rally supporters in Colorado Springs.

Sunday October 21

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who challenged Romney for the GOP nomination earlier this year, will campaign for Romney Sunday afternoon with events in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. [Thanks to the tip from reader David Ramos, we know Paul Ryan is also holding a rally at t the Colorado Springs Airport. Address is 1575 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs CO 80916. The rally begins at 6:00 pm MDT. RSVP here to receive ticket. — thanks David]

Monday October 22

On Monday, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will hold rallies in Pueblo (9am) and Grand Junction (5:30pm), two bright red parts of this purple state, in an effort to energize the GOP base, which will need to turn out in big numbers to put Romney over the edge in the battle for the state’s nine electoral votes.

Tuesday October 23

Tuesday night marks the culmination of the four-day surge with the rally at historic Red Rocks, the famed concert venue tucked between two giant monoliths with stunning views of metro Denver. The venue seats 9,450 people, which, if filled, would be Romney’s largest Colorado crowd to date.

The surge in activity mirrors the campaign’s four days of rallies in the run-up to the first presidential debate here earlier this month, when Romney, his wife, Ann, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio rallied supporters for three days leading up to the Oct. 3 debate before Romney took a victory lap at a conference of conservatives the following morning.