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Obama will visit battleground

The Associated Press

DENVER – President Barack Obama’s campaign had had an easy time in Colorado this year, visiting college campuses three times, preaching to the choir, receiving boisterous welcomes from adoring students.

He will change course today with a visit to Golden, just west of Denver, perhaps the most intense battleground in Colorado.

It’s a vote-rich county of more than a half-million people divided about evenly between Republicans, Democrats and independents.

It’s got aging suburbs and a rapidly growing poverty rate, but Jefferson is also home to sprawling mountain mansions and reliably conservative enclaves.

Jefferson is the home of conservative stalwart Tom Tancredo, who made national headlines for blistering attacks on illegal immigrants and briefly ran for president in 2008. That year, though, Jefferson gave Obama a 9-point margin of victory. It was a dramatic swing from a county that chose former President George W. Bush over Democrat John Kerry in 2004.

Republicans say the key to success in Colorado could be winning back “Jeffco.” Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have both visited recently. Obama’s visit signals Democrats plan to hang on here.

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