Colorado Springs isn’t just on the national map — it’s on the international map.
The British Broadcasting Corporation chose Colorado Springs over Denver for its Colorado Election Day headquarters and will be reporting on the 2012 presidential race from Tejon Street downtown.
“We wanted to get out of the big city, and be somewhere interesting,” said Regan Morris, the BBC’s U.S. West Coast producer. “There’s a diverse population there — the military, the religious community. It seems to have an independent streak.”
Morris said the BBC’s other U.S. crews will be in major cities, including Miami, Boston, Chicago, as well as Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Ohio, and an as-yet-undetermined city in Virginia.
Rajesh Mirchandani will be the BBC reporter in Colorado Springs.
The BBC picked Colorado Springs after noting that the presidential campaign has focused on El Paso County throughout the race, and that the county may hold the key to the state.
“We’re looking at the most interesting swing states,” Morris said.
Morris said the BBC is also interested in Amendment 64, the statewide ballot measure that would legalize marijuana. She said they’re interested in whether the amendment may affect the presidential race.
El Paso County Democratic Chairwoman Kathleen Ricker’s son-in-law is British. When she told him she was going to be interviewed by the BBC, he nearly fell out of his chair.
“He was like, ‘Oh, my God,’” Ricker said. “It’s totally unexpected and very, very exciting.”
Ricker said she and a few other Democrats will be interviewed on Election Day as results begin coming in.
County Democrats are gathering at the Antlers Hilton downtown on Election Day evening, and the BBC will be broadcasting a few blocks away.
The fact that a worldwide media outlet like the BBC would choose Colorado Springs over Denver highlights the growing importance of El Paso County in state and national elections, said county Republican Party Chair Eli Bremer.
“It’s almost like the road to the White House is through El Paso County,” Bremer said, half-jokingly repeating an argument he’s been making for months. Bremer said the BBC contacted the party a few weeks ago.
“When we heard about that, I said, ‘Let’s do everything we can to entice these folks out here, it’s great for folks to see that we’re a prominent district,’” Bremer said.
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