Frankly, I don't have the time or the inclination to sit down with an Electoral College calculator and come up with a state by state prediction of the presidential contest, although I would dare guess in a general way that Kerry will win 49-47.5 in the popular vote, followed by Badnarik, Cobb and Nader in that order, and that he will pick up 290 or more EVs (depending on Florida). I do feel comfortable ranking, in order of probability, the various possible pickups and other success stories for the Democratic Party in Colorado this Tuesday:
1. Ken Salazar wins the US Senate race. Ken has done basically what people expected him to do -- hit the state tirelessly, fundraise well, and never get knocked off balance by attacks. Pete Coors has surprised in being a better candidate than expected, but he failed to overwhelm Salazar with money and his campaign can't seem to decide whether they should portray him as a Bush clone or as an independent. I have a hard time imagining many undecideds are going to think at the last minute that the beer millionaire is the guy who is going to represent them best. Could be a landslide for Ken.
2. John Salazar wins CO-3. I did have this as the most likely, but a multimillion dollar race-baiting negative campaign from Greg Walcher has put this one back into the nailbiter category. If John Salazar loses, the Democrats probably won't run another Latino in this district for a generation.
3. Democrats retake State Senate. This has been the true sleeper story of this election cycle. This years' effort by the Democrats is even better than their 2000 effort, which was really a harbinger of the resurgence we've seen this year. Excellent candidates, lots of funding, and a populace disgusted with the Owens economy -- the only negative is that the Democrats have more seats to defend this year.
4. Kerry wins Colorado's nine electoral votes. Coloradans are burned out on Texans who run as moderates, govern from the far right wing, and drive the economy into the ditch. Ignore the PostNews' polls, which don't take into account the massive voter participation we have already seen during the early voting period.
5. Dave Thomas wins CO-7. The national party precipitously pulled the plug on Thomas a long time ago, and Bob Beauprez has proven himself to be a shameless negative campaigner -- no charge is too misleading to be made, and the actual issues a Representative would have to face have made no appearance in this campaign. In other words, Beauprez has done everything he has to do to win, but this is still not a solid Republican district by any stretch of the imagination and Thomas might ride his large GOTV operation and Kerry and Salazar's coattails to victory.
6. Joanna Conti wins CO-6. I explained how this could happen in this post. If you live in Conti Country, you might get a GOTV call from me today! (I apologize in advance if I interrupt your watching of the Bronco game.)
7. Democrats retake State House. OK, now we are in the realm of the pretty darned unlikely. But in a Kerry/Salazar landslide, it could happen.
8. Stan Matsunaka wins CO-4. I am a big Stan fan, but once Musgrave got in there she became the fundraising machine that Tom Tancredo never was. Her negatives are high enough that the national Republicans have been throwing money into this race (which on one level is kind of a victory), but at the same time I hear Musgrave has been using the threat of the pro-gay blogger boogeymen to raise even more millions and then dole it out to other anti-gay candidates. This makes the list because it is somewhat within the realm of possibility that Stan could pull it out -- I hear there were long lines to early vote in Larimer County and I doubt it was the fear of gay marriage that got, say, Colorado State University students to the polls. I will be very pleasantly surprised if Musgrave gets the boot.
On the nonpartisan side, I am very pleased that Fastracks (Measure 4A) looks headed for passage. Even if this election turns out badly on the Democratic partisan side, I think getting our transit system complete is something that will tremendously improve the quality of life in Denver and the entire Front Range for generations to come, and we ought not to wait until the traffic and air quality situation is an absolute disaster to get moving on it, the way they waited in Los Angeles.