Huffpost Denver

2012 Colorado Races Likely To See Marijuana, Gay Marriage Ballot Initiatives

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DENVER (AP) -- Colorado's position as a key battleground state in the 2012 presidential race comes with a wrinkle neither party seems to like: A freewheeling ballot initiative tradition that could put both legalizing marijuana and gay marriage before voters on Election Day next year.

Marijuana activists have begun gathering signatures to ask voters to allow pot for recreational use, a direct challenge to federal drug law. And gay-marriage advocates were cleared last week to start petitioning for a repeal of a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Proponents of both measures still must get enough signatures before the questions go to ballots.

Democrats and Republicans aren't publicly talking about what Colorado's ballot proposals mean for next year's race.

However, leaders of both parties say Colorado is a must-win for President Barack Obama.

  Obama Romney
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332 206
Obama leading
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Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
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Holdover
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Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
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