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October 29, 2009
By Laura Chapin, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Last week, Colorado's Department of Labor and Employment announced that the state jobless rate had dropped to 7 percent, almost three points below the national average.
"The worst may be behind us," said Don Mares, the department's executive director.
If the trend holds, the same could be said of pessimistic predictions for Democrats in Colorado in 2010 and the view they've hit a political ceiling. Republicans are putting all their political eggs in the economic basket—they have finally abandoned the diminishing returns of social issues and are doubling down on the economy.
According to an October 6 survey by Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli, Colorado voters rank the economy as the top issue, beating out the hot-button social issue of immigration.
So if the state and national economy continue to recover—and overall the economy has shown signs of life in the third quarter of 2009—the electoral prospects for the Democrats for the U.S. Senate, governor's mansion, and state legislature may perk up as well. It lessens the ability of the Republicans to tie state Democrats to President Obama's economic policies, and there would be plenty of ad fodder for Republicans courtesy of the president's signing of the economic stimulus bill in Denver in February.