Choice of Denver as Convention Site Reflects Political Shift in Mountain States
By T.R. Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 13, 2007; Page A04
When the major political parties gathered for their national conventions in 2004, Colorado had a Republican governor, a Republican-controlled legislature and a Republican edge of 5 to 2 in the state's congressional delegation. Today, Colorado's governor is a Democrat. The Democrats control both houses of the legislature. Four of the seven congressional seats are held by Democrats.
That transformation, mirrored in varying degrees across the Rocky Mountain West, is a key reason the Democratic Party decided this week to hold its 2008 nomination convention in Denver, the financial, governmental and transit hub of the mountain states. As party leaders ponder how they can regain the White House in the next election, the region looks more and more essential to an electoral-vote victory.
"I have long believed that the essence of a Democratic victory goes through the West," Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean said Thursday, when he announced that Denver had edged out New York to be the convention city.
"If we are going to have a national party, we are going to have to have Westerners vote Democratic again on a reliable basis."