Northern Colorado voters unhappy with choices, NYT says

Have you noticed a lack of excitement in this year’s races? Oh sure, you’ve got Tom Tancredo calling out John Hickenlooper on immigration. You’ve got Tancredo calling for the legalization of marijuana.

You’ve got all kinds of noise. You’ve also got all kinds of dissatisfaction and malaise, at least that’s what The New York Times has found in Larimer County.

In a full-page article on the front of today’s National section, The Times talks to many locals who say they are unhappy with the economy and with the direction the country is going — and don’t see much hope for change from next week’s election.

Many decry the tone of the advertising, especially the ads funded by outside groups, which tend to be negative.

Here, a well-known Northern Colorado journalist offers his take:

Bob Moore, 50, the executive editor of the local newspaper, The Coloradoan, said he thought that politics in Larimer County had been “nationalized” by those outside interests and by the fact that people are paying less attention to hometown news coverage. As at most newspapers, circulation at The Coloradoan has fallen and the staff has been cut.

“The personality that should be in a local race gets obliterated and you just have the Democrat and the Republican — you don’t have Betsy Markey and Cory Gardner [the 4th Congressional District candidates],” Mr. Moore said.

Another prominent local Republican says that this year he will vote mostly Democratic.

A former mayor of Fort Collins, Ed Stoner, a Republican, said he would vote mostly for Democrats — including Betsy Markey for the local Congressional seat — but abstain from the United States Senate race between Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and his challenger, Ken Buck, a Republican.

Then, of all people, The Times talks to an unaffiliated voter who leans Republican but thinks the health care bill didn’t go far enough.

Or consider James Cherry — no handy label for him either. He is a structural engineer and an unaffiliated voter who leans, he said, toward the Republicans on gun rights and abortion.

But he is also heavily involved in philanthropy, and the federal health care overhaul passed by the Democrats touches on his passions about caring for others. He enthusiastically supported the change and has no patience for Republicans or Tea Party enthusiasts who want repeal. Indeed, he is unhappy with both parties that the law does not include a single-payer government option that liberal Democrats had favored. His wife, Julia, is on the same page.

“I’ve always volunteered for those underserved who don’t have a voice,” she said.

The Times has done a whole series of articles this election season, focusing on the voters and issues of Northern Colorado, an area many see as key to winning statewide elections.

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About the Author

Scot Kersgaard

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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