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Ten Ways You Know You Live in a Presidential Swing State

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This state's presidential-preference polls are close...too close, no matter whom you might be supporting. That's why Donald Trump is returning to Colorado, when at one point the state seemed to belong to Hillary Clinton. But last week, Politico called the race in Colorado a "dead heat," with the RealClearPolitics average separating Trump and Clinton by only .2 percent. Yes, that’s point-two, as in one-fifth of a single percentage point. Which shows that this year, every vote counts. (It also indicates that Gary “What is Aleppo?” Johnson and Jill “Real Questions About Vaccines” Stein could have a serious effect on the voting results.)

So what does it mean to live in a battleground state during an election that’s just too damn close? Well, they say that all politics is local — and here are ten local ways that you can tell Colorado is a swing state without consulting a pollster.

10. Nostalgia for Local Advertising
You know things are bad when you start to miss Dealin’ Doug and Jake Jabs every other commercial break. Instead, we have invitations to fear this or that — Clinton will invite refugees to stay on your couch, or Trump will call your mom fat. It makes you yearn to see those ubiquitous Denver ads like Frank “The Strongarm” Azar break in to tell us how we, too, can win a $2 million settlement if we’re delivering pizza and get hit by a truck. Those were the days.

9. Traffic Jams Due to Political Visits
Look, we all get that there are security issues surrounding national candidates, and that means entourages and convoys of vehicles and street closures and that sort of thing. For the most part, we’re fine with that. But for the love of the Courtyard by Marriott, can we at least agree that these bigwigs can rest their wigs out by the airport, so we at least get a break from the political traffic jams at rush hour? 

8. A Run on Hairspray
It’s bound to happen: You go to Safeway, you look in the hair-care section, and where the Aqua Net should be, there’s nothing but dust, cobwebs and broken dreams. The Donald and Hillary do have some common ground: They both have complicated hair needs. Your hair must stay up even when your numbers are down.

7. National Pundits Make Fun of You
Are you tired of the “What-are-they-smoking-in-Colorado” jokes? Yeah, me, too.

6. You Don’t Want to Answer Your Door or Telephone
No one likes to be harassed. Yes, the ground game is important in politics, and, yes, even more so in a hotly contested race. But having someone come to your door or call you up to make sure that you’re going to do something is too much like your mom during your freshman year in college always making sure you’re taking care of yourself. So maybe turn it around on them. When someone asks you, “Are you planning to vote?,” reply with this: “Sure. But are you wearing clean underpants?”

Keep reading for ten more ways you know you live in a swing state.

5. Endless Fundraising Parties
Wouldn’t you like to have a party where you invite a bunch of strangers to your house, serve them alcohol and platters of Costco appetizers, and before they leave, they all write you a check? Doesn’t that sound like a pretty good way to make some quick cash? No wonder Trump got into politics — it’s far more profitable than casinos.

4. You Start Hating the Color Purple
Not the Oprah Winfrey movie. The actual color purple. You know, the combination of red for the GOP and blue for Democrats that combines to oh-so-creatively make a purple state. It’s a shame, because there are a lot of purple things that are pretty cool, and probably suffer under the conceptual yoke of an overabundance of purple in the state consciousness. Hey, maybe we can blame the Colorado Rockies season on purple exhaustion?

3. An Over-Awareness of the 24-Hour News Cycle
Even news junkies and political wonks get exhausted by the constant stream of cable news, which tends to massively abuse the term “breaking news.” At this point, everything is “breaking,” all the time. Trump just said something that can be construed as racist? BREAKING NEWS! Hillary just sneezed? BREAKING NEWS! Voters are tired of paying attention to something that they should be able to consider thoughtfully over time and come to a rational and measured decision? Well, that’s not news. That’s just the pipe dream of an overexcited electorate. The big moment comes in November, and Coloradans have been made to be ready for months now. If Election Day is like going all the way, then the artificial lead-up news frenzy is like taking Viagra three weeks early.

2. Despairing That Half the State Population Is Made Up of Complete Idiots
There are a lot of shmucks in Colorado — we've covered quite a few of them. But when it comes to the division of the state's electorate, there’s just not much gray area between respective supporters of Hillary and The Donald: Generally, you’re passionately against one or the other. The one thing that they have in common is a mutual impatience for third-party voters and Megyn Kelly.

1. Remembering That Political Attention Is Fickle
Because this election, too, shall pass.

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