Canvassing for Obama in "Red" Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colo. – This is among the most conservative places in Colorado. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and the New Life (mega) Church both call Colorado Springs home.

In the past, “the Springs,” as it’s called locally, was not exactly friendly territory for the Democratic Party to canvas for votes, but that was before the economic downturn.

“I’d say out of 10 times that I talk to someone who’s undecided, nine out of those times are about the economy,” said Jon Wuerth, a Colorado Springs school teacher who is a volunteer canvasser for Barack Obama’s campaign here.

Wuerth says that concern about the economy means voters here are more willing to listen to him. It’s a stark contrast to four years ago when Wuerth hit the pavement for John Kerry and would sometimes get the door slammed in his face.

“If we started off with Kerry, people would just tell us to get going,” Wuerth said.

During an afternoon with Wuerth as he targeted registered independents, there was clearly support for Obama. Only a handful of people said they liked John McCain. The number of Obama supporters and undecided voters was about split. Although most people said they liked Obama when it came to fixing the economy, many were not able to commit to voting for him. One man, who spent 10 minutes speaking with Wuerth, summed it up.

“With the economy the way it is now, we really do need change,” the man said, but then complained about the Democratic Party’s support for abortion and gay rights, “That’s the tough part right there because I don’t agree with that stuff. I don’t agree with that, but I do agree that we need change.”

As he stood up to leave the man’s apartment, Wuerth heard what he was waiting for.

“If you were taking a poll right now, I’d probably have to say I’m going with Barack Obama,” the man said.

For Wuerth, this is progress.

“I think we’re getting a little more progressive in this community,” Wuerth said, “And I think the economy has a lot to do with that.”

(I will be joining the McCain campaign next week as they canvas for votes in Ohio.)

By Travis Fox  |  October 20, 2008; 1:57 AM ET  | Category:  In-Depth
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So basically, these folks hear Obama talking about he's going to take money from successful people and redistribute it to them, and they therefore decide that they will vote for Obama.

If this isn't buying votes, I don't know what is.

Posted by: _virginian_ | October 20, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"So basically, these folks hear Obama talking about he's going to take money from successful people and redistribute it to them, and they therefore decide that they will vote for Obama."

Which successful people would those be? The ones who outsourced all the jobs overseas? The ones who deregulated the banking industry? Enron? Blackwater? Haliburton? There have been so many successful people. You've got to be more specific.

Posted by: kguy1 | October 20, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"Which successful people would those be? . . . . You've got to be more specific."

Ok, I'll be more specific: me. I paid for my undergraduate and graduate school education with loans (which I am still paying down), worked hard, got good grades, and got a good job at which I work 12+ hour days (plus some weekends). I am fortunate enough to make a good salary. Now, the dems want to take some of my money and give it to someone who didn't earn it? This is a naked redistribution of wealth, and it is contrary to everything that makes this country great.

Posted by: _virginian_ | October 20, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Every political decision redistributes the wealth. The execution of this war in Iraq and the one in Afghanistan have had the effect of redistributing the wealth . It takes money away from our kids and grandkids and us in our later years and gives it to the war profiteers and the munitions companies and sends it overseas to lenders from Japan and China and India who are backing the loans to make these huge deficits available. The wars are using huge amounts of petroleum , which also drives up the price of gasoline and heating oils that you are paying high prices for. That money is going directly overseas to fund countries that are hostile to us. You don't think that is redistributing the wealth. Now the insurance companies are sending out feelers to get some of this bailout money, I just saw it on CNBC. Give me a break. These scumsuckers that have been ripping people off for years want a bailout? What next, a bailout for the drug companies?

Posted by: majorteddy | October 20, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Senator McCain rightly said he would rather lose an election than give away our hard fought gains in the war in Iraq. Now he must take the same stand to defend our economy. It is better to lose an election than to let our economy slide. He needs to make that position very clear and everyone needs to know their options in this election.

Posted by: gary4books | October 20, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

This news about Colorado Springs is big. I lived there in the early '90s, and it was not just conservative, it was outright hostile to liberals.

Posted by: marybindc | October 20, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I live in Estes Park which is always full of tourists from all over Colorado. We've learned that whenever you meet a real kook in town they're always from Colorado Springs.

This summer a family came into a store run by a friend of mine. The first thing they asked was what church the person at the counter attended. When the counter person told them, the family said they couldn't speak to her. The family then bought a bunch of tacky tourist stuff using sign language. Total Kooks.

Posted by: MorganaLeFay | October 20, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

God, what a beautiful place.

Nice to see some of the folks there are getting their priorities straight, too.

Posted by: globalityorg | October 20, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

LOL, the guy in the Nascar hat.

Posted by: johng1 | October 20, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I, too, lived in "the springs" Back then is was a denizen of white evangelical hatred, hypocrisy and exclusion al la Dobson and Haggard.

Nice to hear things may be changing.

Posted by: coloradodog | October 20, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I really wonder if all of the McCain leaner’s/voters can really trust McCain to do what he tells everyone from the stump.

After all, he has continually been against all the things he is talking about from the stump, in his years in the Senate.

Re: Search Ayers and the McCain-Gordon Liddy Symbiosis.

I do not find this man at all trustworthy. He is against a great deal that will be of considerable help to this country.

Posted by: steffy_28838_C | October 20, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

We live by we want not by what we need.
And right now we want the easy road anwser to our problems.. Chrisma versus fail proof promises.. Thats a hard one to match. We all fall for it..
Let see its your choice.
Just like the mortage mess it was popular & to good to be true..
Now we are engaging in the Medical insurance players..
We love the Risk & believe via the emotion of it; when we want to so much and that is the Question.

Posted by: suttons77hotmailcom | October 20, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama is buying everybody all kinds a ways & only a few see it.. this a major indication that his vision isn't so sound, just a nightmare waiting to happen.

It like the great speakers or Icons of the day.. its farther from the truth.

I have had enough of the Chrisma.. most of they say, they try but can't fulfill.. it always happens..

Safe & practical, taking a careful choice, with a diehard personality, young at heart. The knowledge that is unwritten history that you can't learn by in books & studying... like cramming for test..
McCain will give more choices than just a plan..

Posted by: suttons77hotmailcom | October 20, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

FULL DISCLOSURE. WHO IS SIGNATOR: OBAMA'S FRIEND, CONFIDANT, LOVER? The media has persecuted everyone associated with this campaign, even those not connected with the campaign, like Joe the Plumber. SO WHY THE SILENCE FROM OBAMA? IS THIS MAN HIS DRUGDEALER? HIS GAY LOVER? (Both of those conjectures have been fully revealed by bloggers seeking the truth.) Of course, you won't see these questions posed by the media to OBAMA, because he's "The One" and not to be investigated, questioned or even spoken to directly. Obama is too important, and too FAR ABOVE THE PUBLIC - FAR SUPERIOR TO HIS FELLOW PUBLIC SERVANTS to be so humanely examined. Butl on the other hand, it's just fine for Obama, the media, the sick sycophant bloggers to try to harm a woman of courage and conviction - a family woman, a loving mother, a HUGELY popular governor (imagine an elected official who has maintained their integrity while garnering 80 PERCENT of their public's approval). Silly me......... INTEGRITY IS A WORD NEVER ASSOCIATED WITH OBAMA

Posted by: DemocratForPeace | October 20, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

suttons, O'Bama's buying no one, only you and other narrow minds see it that way. O'Bama does not have to buy others. Warren Buffet,Colin Powell,the Ceo of Google, countless celebs, I can go on and on,all of the above are backing Barack O'Bama for a reason; and NOT MCCAIN. People like you do not get it, WE WANT CHANGE! It's not working the way it has, and with Republicans it will be no different.There's a reason why McCain has very few power backers. I agree with everything that Colin Powell said. I have been turned off by the nasty campaign of McCain and Sarah Palin. The audience's mentality that they've incited at the "KKK"-type rallies, etc.,has been disgraceful. There's also something wrong when there's a lack of diversity in your supporters; and you do not reach out to appeal to the rich melting pot in America. O'Bama has attracted all, including the youth, Black,White, Latino, Asian, Indian,etc., who are the future. Something has to change. I have definitely decided on supporting O'Bama because he's also warm, humanistic, calm and collected, which is needed, and not the angry and hot-headedness of McCain, who is clearly frustrated and erratic on issues.Sarah incites crowds, and is clearly not ready to be commander in chief as Colin Powell has had the courage to say, and what many other McCain supporters and repubs. have NOT had the courage to say our loud. What must have the courage to face our prejudices and some of our fear of the unknown of the first Black president. Yes! I said it! We must face it, and stop using excuses such as his name, religion, assosciations, etc. There's lots of scandal in the McCain camp also that is never brought up.
I am proud of Colorado Springs for being able to put the issues first, and being open to change for the sake of themselves and America. We all must unify; and do not need hatred and the devisive words from some bloggers that I've read. Whoever wins will have my support which is what they will need if we are to unify, win, and gain back the respect of other nations.

Posted by: sjohns | October 20, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Lived in CO Springs for years, my daughter was born there. I am happy to hear they are becoming more tolerant of and open to other views. As I read through the comments I was unhappily not surprised to see the most hateful comments coming from the most conservative. Someone above stated a vote for Obama would be voting for a nightmare... ummm, it is hard to imagine a more virulent grotesque nightmare than the one perpetrated on 'we the people' (all of we the people) in the past eight years.

In my opinion a vote for McCain would be a vote for continuing these surrealist disastrous wars, sending more money to the middle east, voting to kill and maim more of our troops, to kill more Iraqis, to continue a war for a hundred years or more, to enrich all the war profiteers, to gain control of oil rich lands and pipelines which belong to other people, tax cuts for billionaires to the detriment of the poorest among us and the middle class, to enrich insurance companies and financial institutions at the expense of all taxpayers, the middle class and poor, and on and on.

No one has yet explained to me why a social democracy is such a bad thing?? I like models for Denmark, Sweden, Finland, at least they have medical care for all of their people and they invest in the education of their young so their young are not saddled with uncompromising enslaving debt before they even get started in life. We all need to see beyond this bogyman. See majorteddy above for redistribution of wealth.

So to all the McSame proponents, nice try but No thank's.
I'm voting for HOPE, for CHANGE, I'm Voting OBAMA!
And that's the View from my Trailer Park.
MJ Richards

Posted by: mcjorich | October 20, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Before this election, I had no idea that Colorado was so right winged. It is a beautiful state to say the least but I could never handle the uppity repub. there. The more money you make, the more taxes you pay. What is so hard about understanding that?

Posted by: cjicfalls | October 21, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

People are complicated and most are emotional when it comes down to make a decision. First you don't know what MCcain or Obama will do as President because you can't know what the future will be like. So your best way to decide is to open your eyes and ears and your MIND, throw out all of your emotions(if you got control over them) of both. List the positive attributes of both. This will help you with this decision and many more in your life! Remember Captain Kirk and Mr Spock? Who was emotional and who was logical!

Posted by: cpierce17 | October 22, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

As we head towards the end of the campaign, the true values of the two candidates are showing up. On the one hand you got Barack Obama, taking time out to go see his Grandma. They won't say it widely, but she's likely to, not see her grandson, elected to the Presidency.

On the other hand you've got McCain caught redhanded, having spent $150K on clothes and personal grooming for his Vice Presidential running mate. That's bad enough just doing it. But, then having your attack dogs jump on Obama's "waste of money and energy", for going to see his grandma.

To suggest that he ought not do it, go to see his ailing/maybe dying Grandma, would be too overt. But their suggesting that he take a commercial flight, is rather asinine. Have they not seen the SECURITY DETAIL that follows the candidate (s) for President? Do they not know what a "disruption" it can be to a commercial flight, when the go about doing their due diligence? Have they not noticed the veritable arsenal they travel with.

And, to equate Obama's "good grandson" actions to dressing up a woman in designer clothes from Nieman Marcus and Saks, red Michael Jackson jackets and such...well, that really sucks...

Posted by: hwilfongjr | October 24, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

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