Facing their best opportunity to control both branches of state government in 40 years, Colorado Democrats are coming to terms with the fact that their candidate for governor, Bill Ritter, opposes abortion.
Local abortion rights activists are despondent. "Do you want to run for governor?" Kathryn Wittneben, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, asked a reporter. "Are you pro-choice? If you're pro-choice, you could run."
Ritter joins the party's candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, Bob Casey Jr., and the highest-ranking Democratic politician in the country, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, as prominent examples of anti-abortion Democrats.
With that goal in sight, Democrats have increasingly rallied behind Ritter. Some of his supporters do not hide their frustration at the belated support.
"It's a testament to how out of touch the leadership of the Democratic Party in Colorado is," said Susan Barnes-Gelt, a former Denver City Council member with a long history of working for the state party. "The Democrats have made a huge mistake letting themselves be identified as a single-issue party, and that issue is choice."