It's Obama, but not in Archuleta County

Amid howls, whistles and chants of “USA, USA,” Archuleta County Democrats celebrated with Democrats across the nation Tuesday when, by 9 p.m. local time, polls had closed on the West Coast and pundits announced Barack Obama was president-elect of the United States.

“We fed and coffeed a lot of voters at the polls today. It’s a great day for Democrats and a great day for Democrats in Archuleta County,” said Bob Nash, chair of the Archuleta County Democratic Party.

Although Nash was clearly pleased with the national outcome, local voters, had they been the sole arbiters of the race, would have put McCain and Palin in the White House with 3,618 votes to Obama and Biden’s 2,822.

Despite local support for McCain and Palin, however, Colorado as a state went blue, with Obama scoring 53.38 percent of the popular vote to McCain’s 46.62 percent, thus adding the state’s nine electoral votes to Obama’s growing tally.

Although news of Colorado’s blue status enlivened the crowd, the 60 or so local Democrats gathered for the election celebration were on their feet and cheering when newscasters announced Obama had nailed Ohio’s coveted 20 electoral votes, and with Pennsylvania already secured earlier in the evening, and the West Coast tally in, it appeared the show was over for the McCain-Palin campaign.

By press time Wednesday, tallies showed Obama with 349 electoral votes to McCain’s 147 — a landslide electoral victory by many accounts.

State

Colorado voters may well wonder what’s heading towards them as the state shows a definite shift to blue.

With Democrat Mark Udall’s landslide (53 percent to 42 percent) victory over Republican Bob Schaffer, Colorado is represented by two Democratic senators for the first time since 1979.

Although Schaffer outperformed Udall in Archuleta County, with 3,193 votes going to Schaffer compared with Udall’s 2,776 local votes, Udall trounced Schaffer state wide.

Regarding the victory, Udall press secretary Tara Trujillo said, “Mark’s very excited. He’s looking forward to getting back to Washington and working with both parties to end this economic crisis.”

Democrats also won big, in the region, with Congressman John Salazar defeating his Republican opponent, Wayne Wolf, both locally and within the 3rd Congressional District. In Archuleta County, Salazar won 56 percent of the vote, with 3,576 votes to Wolf’s 2,754. Within the district, Salazar’s 61 percent of the total votes was nothing less than a clear landslide.

Soon after the election was called, Salazar said in a press release that, “It is an incredible honor for me to represent not only the most beautiful district in the country, but the greatest people as well, people who share the values of hard work, honesty, integrity and love of country. The people of the Third are my inspiration.”

Democrats also picked up a congressional seat in Colorado, giving the party a 7-2 advantage in Colorado’s congressional delegation, with Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave losing her bid for a fourth term in Colorado’s District 4.