‘Twas the swing-state election…

The Colorado Statesman

’Twas the swing-state election, and all through the year
Colorado was crucial, or so ’twould appear.
From the peaks to the plains there was no place to hide:
Undecided electors hung on for the ride.

At the start of the year the incumbent seemed weak.
Unemployment was high and the future looked bleak.
But the challenge first landed with the GOP,
Who would choose from a long list their prez nominee.

Now, Republican voters were angry and fickle.
If they didn’t pick right, they might land in a pickle:
Should they aim for the base or the moderate vote?
With their chances so strong, how could they miss the boat?

Once The Donald and Palin had declined to run
The debates, they were set, and the race had begun.
As the Democrats cheered, the lead flipped to and fro.
Would Republican ducks ever get in a row?

First Pawlenty! then, Bachmann! then, Perry and Cain!
On Santorum! And Ron Paul! then Gingrich again!
To the top of the polls! to the top of the pack!
Hug your front-runner status, ‘cause Romney’ll be back!

By the time Colorado had its caucus night
Some Republican voters leaned hard to the right.
Although Romney had counted on clinching the win
A late surge by Santorum got under his skin.

Still, meanwhile at the Capitol, lawmakers fussed.
Would some jobs bills get passed or get left in the dust?
‘Tween the House and the Senate the statehouse was split.
By the end of the session, the fan had been hit.

A decidedly uncivil end to the fight
Over unions for gay folks went late in the night.
The Republican leadership went for the kill,
Even knowing they had stirred the wrath of Tim Gill.

Colorado was evenly split down the middle.
In its deep shade of purple, the polls were a riddle:
If the voters went blue or the voters went red,
Then Obama or Romney would come out ahead.

Was Mitt Romney a vulture who shipped jobs away?
Really, you didn’t build that, Obama would say.
It seemed all through the summer the state was deadlocked,
’Twouldn’t be ’til November the R’s got shell-shocked.

The conventions had moved the Dems slightly ahead
When a secret recording left folks seeing red.
Forty-seven percent of the voters were miffed
And the Romney campaign looked like it was adrift.

Then one night in October the nation’s gaze turned
To the Denver debate, where Obama soon learned
That appearing distracted, lackluster and slack
Would give Romney the chance to stay on the attack.

With just one month to go ‘til the winner’d be known,
There was hardly a voter campaigns left alone.
From the shores of Sloan’s Lake to the stage at Red Rocks
Coloradans eyewitnessed a trav’ling soapbox.

“I think we can do better,” Mitt Romney attacked.
“There’s a cure for Romnesia,” the president cracked.
As the ads hogged the airwaves, they went round and round,
But for actual votes it came down to the ground.

When it was time to count ’em, there’d be left no doubt:
The Obama machine got its votes to turn out.
The Dems also won big measured closer to home,
Taking both of the gavels inside the Gold Dome.

Lest Republicans mope or the Dems start to preen,
It’s a mid-term election in 2014.
If you thought the last year was intense, just you wait.
As they say, that’s just life in a battleground state.

Ernest@coloradostatesman.com