Bennet pumps up volunteers for 2012 presidential campaign

The Colorado Statesman

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s narrow victory in 2010 against GOP challenger Ken Buck has been held up as a model for how Democrats can win Colorado’s crucial presidential vote next year, and Colorado’s junior senator was on hand over the weekend to energize Obama volunteers in Denver.

Reflecting on his own win a year ago — by some measures, it was the most expensive Senate race in the country — Bennet said the anniversary got him thinking. “I think about what it took to hold this seat in 2010 — the volunteers, the campaign staff, the fundraising work, the unwillingness to ever give up no matter what people were saying in the blogosphere or on the national television programs. We showed people something very important here in Colorado last year, and we’re going to have to show them that again in 2012.”

Bennet told a group of about 15 assembled Obama volunteers that public opinion was on their side.

“When you listen to the folks at town halls and you look at the polling data,” Bennet said, “what you see is that the proposals the president has made in his recent Jobs Act and other proposals are much closer to where people are than proposals that have been coming from folks on the other side that, for example, raise revenue by taxing everybody in the country who’s actually lost revenue in the last 15 years.”

The Nov. 6 rally echoed dozens around the state and thousands around the country held to mark the one-year point for an election that could focus heavily on Colorado, whose nine electoral votes could spell the presidency for whoever wins them.

The same afternoon, Republican Ron Paul’s campaign opened the first storefront office for a GOP presidential candidate in the state in the Stapleton neighborhood, and on Wednesday the Obama campaign opened a second office in Fort Collins.

Ernest@coloradostatesman.com