AURORA | U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, has a lot to gain from metro Aurora voters like those she addressed Tuesday evening.
She took to the stage at The Hangar at the Stanley Marketplace for an organizing event with one specific ask in mind: that her supporters engage with other people, especially people across political divisions, before the Colorado primary to learn what Americans have in common.
“We can’t be a Democratic Party that only talks to each other,” she said. “Pick one thing. Talk about one thing that unites us.”
If all goes according to plan for Warren, she could do well in Colorado next year when voters decide on the Democratic nominee.
Colorado political consultant Floyd Ciruli said the changing political landscape in Aurora and Arapahoe County is attractive campaigning territory to Democrats, especially for candidates with more progressive values.
“Caucuses tend to go toward the left flank of the party, and she accurately sees that Colorado could be very important to her,” he said.
Colorado Democrats favored Bernie Sanders over Hilary Clinton in 2016 and former President Barack Obama over Hilary Clinton in 2012 — a clue that candidates like Sanders and Warren may fair better in metro Denver this cycle, too. The 2018 election also serves as a recent reminder that Arapahoe County is more blue than it once was, with the election of Congressman Jason Crow and the defeat of the Republican clerk and sheriff.
Even with Aurora in “blue wave” territory, Ciruli still sees Colorado as a shade of purple – so the state is to be an important one as the race for 2020 continues to heat up.
“Colorado has been a favorite for these candidates probably more than a decade because it’s been a swing state since 2000,” he said.
Warren is polling at 7 percent, neck-and-neck with Pete Buttigieg, according to the most recent Morning Consult polling. She falls behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not formally announced a candidacy, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
At the Aurora campaign event Warren touched on issues such as Medicare for all, stopping oil and gas drilling on public lands and a tax on the wealthiest Americans — all of which received applause.
She also asked attendees to talk to people about issues ranging from health care to student loan debt.
While Warren praised “Denver” for turning out to her event, Ciruli said he sees merit in her holding the event in Aurora, and particularly at the trendy Stanley Marketplace.
“She is competing for the people who hang out there, it’s a millennial, cutting-edge thing,” he said of the now-renovated aviation manufacturing facility that’s home to hip eateries.
“Her message is looking for millennials and young people and urban people who are thinking about new things in life and new trends,” Ciruli added. “She’s hoping those are the voters she’ll reach.”