Greetings from Aurora, Colorado, where we are joining a crowd of thousands for a big closing campaign rally by President Barack Obama. Capacity here is 20,000, and it looks like we’re going to reach that easily – which will make this the largest rally of Colorado’s election season. (Update – yes, this ended up being a capacity crowd of 20,000.)
(Update: We’ve added some fan video links for Dave Matthew’s songs, courtesy of MRNYCRISPY. We’ll add Obama video as soon as we get it.)
11:20 MST - He works the ecstatic crowd, moving along the line, shaking hands, hugging…. he is smiling, exuberant and very, very happy.
And my fingers are too cold for me to type any more. So I’m wrapping this up.
11:15 MST – “We have come too far to turn back now! We will WIN this state! We will WIN this election!”
He is ON FIRE! And the crowd is SO WITH HIM! They’re waving their blue “Forward with Obama” signs ecstatically. If anyone was concerned that the crowd would start to drift away after Dave Matthews… not so much. These folks are here to see their President, and they love him.
He concludes with his regular:
“God bless you and God bless America!”
And the crowd erupts…
11:12 pm MST – “They are betting on cynicism. but Colorado, i am betting on YOU. On the common sense and decency of the American people. What I’m describing is not partisan. we’re not Democrats and Republicans first – we are Americans first. I will work with anyone of any party who will move this country forward.”
11:10 PM MST - ”We cannot cut our way back to posterity. We need to ask the wealthiest Americans to go back to Bill Clinton tax rates. I will not turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for more tax cuts. That’s not how we grow our economy.”
11:08 PM MST - ”I’m not just proud that we’re building more cars – we’re building better cars. Building wind energy and solar panels. Instead of getting more subsidies for big oil, we need subsidies for the jobs of tomorrow. Reward companies that are investing here in America.”
11:05 PM MST - ”Changing the facts when you don’t like them – that’s not real change!”
11:00 PM MST – “Bill Clinton’s economic plan asked people to pay a little more. Republicans at the time, including Mitt Romney, said that would crash the economy. They were wrong. the economy boomed and created 23 million jobs. Then we tried tax cuts for the wealthy under the last president, and we had falling income, bigger deficits, and the biggest crash in 80 years.
“Governor Romney is a talented salesman. And he has tried to repackage the same old bad ideas that didn’t work. He says they’re change. We know what change looks like, and what he’s selling isn’t it.”
10:54 PM MST – “As Americans we honor free enterprise. the risk takers always drive the market. But the market works best when everybody has a chance to succeed.”
10:45 PM MST - President Barack Obama: “Are you fired up?”
10:45 PM MST - President Barack Obama is about to go on.
10:24 PM MST – We can hear cheering from outside the venue – I believe the President is arriving.
10:15 PM MST – This crowd is huge… and happy! Romney held a big rally here last month at Red Rocks, but that venue only holds 10,000 – this holds twice that.
And there’s a very different feel in a late-campaign crowd for a winning campaign and for a losing one. This crowd is here to see a winner!
10:00 PM MST - Matthews segues from Don’t Drink the Water into This Land is Your Land. Crowd cheers.
And he wraps it up with another shout of “Four more years!”
9:47 PM MST - You and Me
9:39 PM MST - Mercy
9:31 PM MST – Funny The Way It Is
9:25 PM MST – Dave Matthews takes the stage – in response to a fan’s question, “How are you?” he says, “I’m COLD!”. He urges his fans to make sure that Barack Obama stays President for another four years. And then he says “I’ll shut up now and play,” and goes straight into Take Me To Tomorrow
9:25 PM MST – Governor Hickenlooper says we are united – “Our country’s motto is e pluribus unum – out of many, one!”
9:20PM MST - Senator Mark Udall brings up the wind energy tax credit, which is a big job creator in Colorado and Romney opposes (while not opposing oil subsidies). “He’s running against the wind!’ Udall quips.
9:11 PM MST - Senator Michael Bennett takes the podium. Not a charismatic speaker, he tells the crowd “I know you’re not here to hear me!’ But they love it when he says “let not think about it any more, let’s not worry about it any more, let’s just VOTE!” and leads them in a chant of “VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!” And when he mentions Romney’s name, some in the crowd boo… and he says “Don’t boo – VOTE!”
Colorado has been one of the most important swing states in this election, which is why this is Obama’s 13th visit. And while it’s been fulfilling its swing state karma by bouncing around between the President and the challenger, the past week has shown a firming up for Obama – as polls have nationally. Of the 9 polls in the past week listed at Huffpost Pollster, only two show Romney up by , with Obama leading by 1 to 4 points and one tied.
Polling averages for Colorado:
- Huffington Post: O 48.2% to R 46.9%
- Talkingpoints Memo: O 48.9% R 46.8%
Real Clear Politics: O 48.2% R 47.6%
Those are tight, but consistent leads, and as Sam Wang has noted, there are only three times in the past few cycles that the state polling average hasn’t predicted the state winner.
Predictions for tonight’s rally: Despite the mass shooting at the movie theater here in aurora back in July, there will be no mention of gun control. But Colorado is a big alternative energy state, so we should hear some talk about wind and solar power.
There will also be some good quips, like Biden’s yesterday:
It’s Mitt Romney’s favorite time of the year because he gets to turn the clock back!”
The festivities should beging at 9 pm local time (11 pm EST), and we’ll be reporting live throughout the evening.