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Purple State Blues

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<p>(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey/File/2014)</p>
<p>Voting in Thornton, Colo., in 2014.</p>
Photo: Voting in Boulder June 2016 (AP Photo)
A voter places his ballot into a collection box after filling it in at a polling center, on state primary election day, in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Democratic presidential candidates are on a winning streak in Colorado. The state voted for Barack Obama twice and for Hillary Clinton in 2016. It’s been even longer since Colorado elected a Republican governor. Those results have led some to wonder if the state shouldn’t be considered purple anymore. On the electoral map, it might now be more of a light blue.

One expert says not so fast. Political scientist Tom Cronin of Colorado College has been tracking how Coloradans vote on Election Day for the past three decades. He says using that data as a barometer indicates candidates from either party can still win the state -- if they appeal to the center. But that doesn’t mean that Colorado’s political geography hasn’t been changing in other ways.