Obama Mines a Rich Vein in Boulder, Colo.
Democrats looking for some extra campaign cash this week should have little trouble finding willing donors in Denver, the epicenter of the rising blue tide in Colorado.
But even friendlier fundraising terrain lies just outside the city. The town of Boulder, which claims the University of Colorados main campus and the mantle of one of the Wests most environmentally progressive cities, is also home to the states two most generous ZIP codes for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), according to a Roll Call analysis of fundraising activity in and around Denver.
Together, donors in those areas have forked over nearly $700,000 for Obamas presidential bid.
The study found that overall, Obama has hit pay dirt in the Mile High City, pulling in about $3.5 million from donors in the metropolitan area. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive Republican nominee, has raised about $1.3 million in the same areas.
Its not just the suburbs that have showered Obama with cash the Illinois Democrat has found plenty of love in the heart of the city as well. In town, the areas around the Pepsi Center, where Democrats will gather this week to nominate Obama, have proved the most fertile for the candidate.
From the Cheesman Park and Congress Park neighborhoods, about 1.5 miles southeast of the Pepsi Center, Obama has raked in nearly $350,000. The area, one of the oldest in the city, is a center of the citys gay community and also home to fashionable 30-somethings. Perhaps no surprise, then, that McCain has collected significantly less about $84,000 from the locals there.
Just west of these neighborhoods lies Denvers own Capitol Hill, a hip, upscale neighborhood packed with bars, art galleries and coffee houses. Its home to Denvers punk community not known for cutting political checks. But because of its proximity to the Colorado state Capitol, it also includes the offices where many state lobbyists punch the clock. Residents have rustled up more than $124,000 for Obama.
South of Capitol Hill is Washington Park, a residential neighborhood that draws its name from the park that runs along its western border. Residents are among the citys most affluent, and they have contributed $137,000 to Obama. McCain, meanwhile, has collected about $55,000 here. Both candidates have cleaned up in Platt Park and Englewood, neighborhoods that stretch south and east from Washington Park. Obama has taken in about $352,000 from these areas, while McCain has collected $246,000.
But Democrats dont need to stray far from the convention grounds to find Coloradans ready to help finance the party. Conventioneers venturing north of the Pepsi Center will come upon LoDo, short for lower downtown. The neighborhood was desolate a decade ago, but with the opening of Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, its experienced a revitalization. It is now home to more than 70 bars and restaurants, as well as the Wynkoop Brewery, a venue for convention-related parties. When MTVs reality show The Real World came to town two years ago, the cast lived in the neighborhood. Donors here have favored Obama, contributing $124,000. But the area has its share of McCain fans, too, with locals giving $103,000 to the GOPers campaign.
Not all neighborhoods are so helpful. The Denver area has 56 ZIP codes whose residents have contributed less than $10,000 to Obama, and 76 that have been similarly stingy with McCain.