George W Bush is in Colorado tonight and tomorrow, and his visit is devoted almost exclusively to shoring up his base in a state that looks more and more "in play" every day. Although he flew into Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Bush scheduled no public appearances in the Denver metro area -- probably due to fears such an appearance would only show how much opposition he has provoked up here. He will attend a fundraiser at the Phipps Mansion in the Belcaro neighborhood of Denver this evening, then head down to Colorado Springs. Tomorrow he will meet with James Dobson of Focus on the Family before delivering the commencement address at the Air Force Academy.
If Bush felt comfortable about his prospects in Colorado, he wouldn't need to spend valuable time kissing up to Dobson, nor would he feel he had to stay out of public view in Denver. The bottom line -- although Republicans want you to believe this is a "red state," the fact is barely a million out of nearly 3 million registered voters are members of the GOP. There are almost a million unaffiliated voters and that is where the action is. John Kerry will be here in a couple of weeks and I'll bet that rather than shoring up his base, he will be out there going after those independents.