U Democrats head to Colorado

By David Servatius, Staff Writer

The U chapter of Students for Barack Obama is hitting the road during Fall Break in an effort to push the swing state of Colorado into the Democratic column in the November presidential election.

The group will leave Salt Lake City on Saturday morning in a caravan of vehicles and work all next week in the Denver area, knocking on doors to drum up support for the Democratic nominee.

About 45 students have volunteered to make the trip. They will team up with the Colorado Obama campaign at its Denver headquarters, encouraging supporters to vote by mail and take advantage of early voting in the state.

The local campaign organization is paying for gas and providing housing for the students.

“While we still want to make a difference in Utah, our efforts in Colorado can help Barack win the election,” said Sarah Day, president of U Students for Barack Obama.

Colorado’s nine electoral votes have gone to the Republican candidate in the last three presidential elections, but polls show the state is in play this year.

A new CNN analysis of the race shows Obama leading nationally in states with 264 of the 270 electoral votes needed to be elected president, if Obama adds only Colorado to his current total, he could win the election.

Utah, on the other hand, appears to be out of reach for Obama. A recent poll put the race at 65 to 29 percent for McCain. George W. Bush won the solidly Republican state by his largest margin nationwide in 2004.

Day said she hopes to get at least 60 students signed up to make the trip before they leave.

U chapter of Students for Barack Obama outreach coordinator Jordan Bloss said she is happy to give up her break as part of the effort.

“I’ve been an Obama supporter since I saw his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention,” she said. “I’d do anything to get him in the White House.”

Day said she launched the U chapter last February as a way to get students to vote in the Super Tuesday primary election.

“Students are going to inherit the results of all the decisions being made by politicians today,” she said. “So it’s important that they get involved and have a say in those decisions.”

Members of the group have spent the bulk of the year working on voter registration. On most weekdays they have a table set up in the plaza area of the Union, and each Wednesday night they meet at the Utah for Obama headquarters in downtown Salt Lake City to help with phone banking.

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