Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Boulder County is the Red Menace, Bob Schaffer is a Terrible Geographer

BOULDER, Colorado -- For those of you that don't know, Colorado is host to one of the most hotly contested Senate races this November. The seat of retiring Republican Senator Wayne Allard is up for grabs, and sitting Democratic Congressman Mark Udall is running against former Republican Congressman Bob Schaffer.

Colorado is rightly identified as one of the key "battleground" states, and this race, like the presidential contest, remains close. The state is known for having a rather nasty campaign season, and this year is no different. We've had the privilege of watching some of the most disgraceful national ads, from John McCain's Paris Hilton spot to this Obama ad attacking McCain for owning a foreign car.

Schaffer and Udall have also been less than cordial with one another on the airwaves, and this recent Schaffer spot has been pretty par for the course.

I'm hoping the term "Boulder Liberal" will become part of the political name-calling lexicon, just like the tried and true "Tax and Spend Liberal." Wonderful turns of phrase.

But my concern here is more cartographic than political. If you look closely at the red menace of Boulder County, ready to take over the small town heartland of Colorado with its communist/terrorist/totally gay agenda, you will notice something in the southeast corner of the county; or rather, you won't notice something.

Now compare that to this county map of Colorado:

Broomfield County, which was incorporated in 2001 from pieces of Boulder, Adams, Jefferson and Weld Counties, is completely absent from the map. Apparently, while making their Cold War propaganda-style map, the Shaffer campaign didn't see the need to use a map that was less than seven years old. The funniest part is that George W. Bush won Broomfield County by 4.5 points, about the same margin by which he carried the entire state in 2004. If Schaffer (or McCain, for that matter) want a chance of winning Colorado in November, they will have to clean up in the affluent - and mostly Republican - suburbs of Denver. Leaving them off the map is not helping their cause.

Udall himself has been guilty of disrespecting the poor citizens of Broomfield. If you go to his campaign website, you will find a calendar listing for an event on October 5th, an "Ice Cream Social with Mark Udall" - the problem is that it is in "Broomfield, CT." Well, there is no Broomfield in Connecticut (there is a Bloomfield - what up, Margie), and we can assume he meant the much-maligned Colorado town.

Sorry, Broomfield. I guess no one in this race really gives a damn about your town.

UPDATE: The Udall campaign did finally fix their ice cream social mistake (though perhaps the biggest mistake was hosting an "ice cream social"), but they haven't been willing to make any political hay out of Schaffer's gaffe. It's probably for the best; Udall is ahead in the polls, and it's probably best just to ignore these attacks.

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