Wednesday, 7 November 2012

US Election from a Canadian Perspective

It was a pleasure to be in Denver CO on Election Day. The pundits said it would be TOO close to call - well the popular vote was close BUT the results were in early that Barack Obama remained as President.

Colorado was considered a swing state so it was exciting to be here. Everywhere you went last night people were glued to television sets and it wasn't because the Nuggets were playing - wow what a shock when politics beats sports in any town!

Staff in restaurants paused to catch the results - how was Colorado going to go and would the 2 hour time difference make a difference. Luckily here it was a warm sunny day so turn out was expected to be high.

The final results were close
Obama 1,091,234
Romney 1,021,983

Who was making the difference? Women who were Independent voters - no surprise - Romney just didn't connect with women in general - most women I talked to had a hesitation about Romney but couldn't explain why - they loved the way he was with his wife and his sons but there was a niggling reason as to why hey would vote for him.

Hispanics now make up 20% of the voting population in CO and so they will become a stronger and stronger vote here.

The next President of the United States will have to face this challenge - how to attract the female and Hispanic vote.

As an outsider what was fascinating was the engagement of everyone I met that day - the air was buzzing with excitement - people were engaged and talking about it and there were cheers in the town square when the results were announced. The advantage of a warm evening was the ability to congregate and listen collectively. It was such an interesting day as I can't remember an election that was so close and engaged a nation in a conversation.

I look forward to seeing how Obama can build on the engagement of young people, women and Hispanics in the next 4 years to encourage them to continue to be involved and engaged in politics for the betterment of all.

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