Politics

Loyalties shift in vote-rich suburbs

IN COMMERCE CITY, COLO. Everything about Reunion is meant to be perfect. The houses in this middle-class, master-planned neighborhood 20 miles outside Denver evoke the front-porch intimacy of a small town. Large faux farm silos adorn the grand landscaped entrance. The fishing pond shimmers. The small sign on Reunion Parkway boasts, “Happily ever after starts here.”

Politically, Reunion was meant also to be part of the perfect congressional district, one drawn up after the 2000 Census to be an absolutely 50-50 suburban swing district. There would be no better place in America to judge the mood of the electorate.

Today, the mood in many of the houses along Reunion’s curving sidewalks is one of disappointment.

“I’ve never been more disenchanted,” said Donna Mastrangelo, 48, who moved here from Arizona in 2005. She supported Barack Obama in 2008 but now thinks the president overreached. Sitting on a park bench on a balmy afternoon, she turned to her husband, Louis, and said: “We can be swayed any which way at this point. . . . I don’t want anyone to assume my vote anymore. I want them to work for it.”

Full Story: Loyalties shift in vote-rich suburbs