Watters: Electoral College predictions give this voter sense of lack of impact

Arabella Watters, Assistant Forum Editor

If there’s anything I’ve realized as the coverage of the election has intensified in the last few weeks, it’s that my vote isn’t really going to do that much toward determining the presidency.

It’s a little fatalistic, I know, but it’s states like Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Nevada, to name an integral few, that are going to decide this race. What nobody wants to admit is that while important, the popular vote really isn’t in any sense the deciding factor in the election. Right now, what we’re seeing is a mad dash to get over that electoral voting threshold needed for a vectoring. I’m making generalizations, I know, and I as an American value the ability to vote deeply. I’ve also become a cynic at the ripe old age of 19, and I realize that in a country where only about 64 percent of Americans actually vote, we as a populace don’t have as big of a hand in choosing the president as we’d like to think.

If I vote in either California, my home state, or Illinois, my vote essentially won’t matter; both of those states are already, and unchangeably, blue. The election is decided during the battle of the swing states, and I find the push and pull dynamics incredibly indicative of where the election is going.

That’s why I’m finding the Centennial State of particular interest. President Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the majority of votes in Colorado since 1968. President Obama’s win in 2008 was an incredible feat and proved his omnipotence as a candidate. That said, I doubt very much that Obama has the ability this time around to swing this historically conservative state. The proof is in the polls — two separate polls from ARG and Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times report Romney  leading Obama 48 percent to 47 percent within a margin of error in Colorado. Granted, one point isn’t the end all, be all of swinging a state, and I won’t even comment on the irony that Obama is trailing at “47 percent,” but I don’t think Obama can pull it off again.

What Obama is so lacking is the opportunistic feel of his 2008 campaign. The hope seems to have waned significantly. Under Obama, our deficit remains at $16 trillion. Four years ago, Obama ran on sparkling idealism alone, and it was enough to swing a miracle in Colorado.

Fast forward and Obama hasn’t lived up to his promises. I think Romney has Colorado in the bag, if only because of its past conservatism. This is a state that passed a referendum in 1992, which wasn’t ruled unconstitutional until 1996, that prevented any city, town or county in the state from taking legislative, executive or judicial action to recognize gay and lesbian citizens as a protected class. People in Colorado actually voted for this disgusting piece of legislature. If that isn’t staunch conservatism, then I don’t know what is. To cut the whole state of Colorado a little bit of slack, that was only one conservative piece of legislation, and it occurred nearly two decades ago. But in politics, I am a firm believer that a leopard can’t really change its spots.

Romney has Colorado’s conservative past on his side, as well as the bang-up debate victory nearly two weeks ago, conveniently set at the University of Denver. Romney’s sweeping decimation of Obama during the debates in one of the key swing states was much more than beautifully timed coincidence.

I can make these assertions on paper, but I have no idea if they will come true. Despite my one vote, there’s a lot of this election that is completely out of my hands and in the distance of the political ether. Will Obama win Colorado? No, I don’t think so. Will he win the whole election? I have no idea, but I sure wish my vote had a little bit more to do with it.