These days, when people mention the slow erosion taking place in Colorado, they're probably not talking about the geology of the Rockies.
Colorado, like several other states in the Mountain West, has morphed this election season from a reliably red state for Republican John McCain into one that holds solid prospects for going blue for Democrat Barack Obama.
The formula is familiar: A burgeoning Hispanic population (now 17.1 percent) combined with an energized base of college-age young people has led to a Democratic resurgence in the state and placed Colorado squarely on the presidential seesaw.
"I don't think we're going to have an election where we talk about Florida, Florida, Florida or Ohio, Ohio, Ohio," said Jennifer Duffy, a political analyst at The Cook Political Report. "We’re talking about a handful of other states, too. You'll see some shifts in the map."
It's all due to a changing America, a nation headed inexorably toward a day where whites make up less than 50 percent of the population — perhaps by as soon as 2042.
An Associated Press analysis of census data found that 93 percent of all counties are less white than they were in 2000. It called the change "even more profound" in more than 100 "swing counties" in 14 hotly contested states, a boon to Obama.
Asked about which demographic shift favors his candidate, Mike DuHaime, who oversees McCain field operations, took a pass.
"That’s a better question for the Democrats," he said.
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