Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page A21
Kerry tried hard to make the state, which Bush won easily in 2000, a genuine battleground, but faced with better opportunities in other red states and needing to defend his base in the upper Midwest, he pulled down his advertising in the final week. Republicans are confident Bush will carry the state. Democrats nevertheless hope to pick up the open Senate seat of retiring Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. The race pits Democratic Attorney General Ken Salazar against Republican businessman and first-time candidate Pete Coors, chairman of Coors Brewing. Salazar, who has run as a centrist and capitalized on his Hispanic heritage, has the edge this weekend, despite there being 180,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in the state. Rep. Bob Beauprez (R), who won one of the closest contests in the country two years ago, is narrowly favored to win a second term against Democrat Dave Thomas, while Salazar's brother John is in a tight race against Republican Greg Walcher for the seat of retiring Rep. Scott McInnis (R). The Colorado ballot also includes an initiative that would allocate the state's electoral votes proportionally, but it appears unlikely to pass.
No worries for Bush here. The race to replace retiring Gov. Judy Martz (R) is a tossup between Democrat Brian Schweitzer -- the 2002 Senate nominee and an iconoclastic rancher who used to grow peppermint -- and Secretary of State Bob Brown (R).
Utah, which Bush will carry, will choose its third governor in little more than a year. Mike Leavitt (R) left the post in November, leaving Lt. Gov. Olene S. Walker in charge. But Walker faltered in the GOP gubernatorial primary, won by Jon Huntsman Jr., a former ambassador to Singapore. He is being pressed hard by Scott Matheson Jr. (D), dean of a Utah law school and son of a former governor. Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R) will coast to a third term. Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson (brother of Scott) is leading GOP challenger John Swallow.