DENVER (AP) - A note to Republican presidential contenders: Colorado's political terrain is as rocky as its mountains.
The state was once solidly Republican but turned Democratic in the 2000s as the population swelled with people moving into the state.
Colorado's traditional conservative base of evangelical Christians and Western individualists became less influential. Latinos account for most of Colorado's growth and make up more than 30 percent of Denver's population.
Democrats rolled up big victories statewide and, in 2008, Barack Obama became the first Democrat in two decades to carry the state's
nine electoral votes.
Now, however, the state's unemployment hovers near 8 percent, making Coloradans gloomier about the economy and their elected
Republican front-runner Mitt Romney and his rivals hope that mood could bring Colorado back to the GOP this November.