Thursday 22 June 2017

The battle that could make or break Obama

President Barack Obama, pictured with First Lady Michelle, faces a mid-term backlash at the polls
President Barack Obama, pictured with First Lady Michelle, faces a mid-term backlash at the polls

Rupert Cornwell in Colorado

IT didn't begin in Colorado for Barack Obama, but in Colorado he was crowned -- on an August night in 2008 when he accepted the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in front of 75,000 people in the gleaming new Mile High Stadium, where the Denver Broncos play football on a stage set reminiscent of a temple from ancient Athens.

But two years later, in the state that was supposed to be the anchor of a new western strategy for the Democrats, it's all going wrong -- just as it's going wrong almost everywhere in the country. "The 2008 convention had a magnifying effect," says Eric Sondermann, a political analyst in Denver. "We Coloradans drank the Obama Kool-Aid a little more intensely than the rest of the country. It was an artificial high, and that has made the drop a little more precipitous."

The President's party, beyond doubt, will lose Congressional seats and state offices here in next Tuesday's mid-term elections. Paradoxically, the one thing that can prevent a bad night turning into a calamity is the Republicans' own shock weapon, the Tea Party.

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