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Colorado Democrats Start Thinking Strategy

DENVER (CBS4) - Democrats are still trying to put together a national strategy for 2012. They are just starting to raise money for the election.

With no primaries to worry about, Democrats have been able to skip on the fundraising until now. They'll need to save. Colorado is expected to be a swing state and the scene of a vicious battle.

"We have a lot of organizing to do," Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio said.

A Saturday fundraiser is how Colorado Democrats say they're revving up for the 2012 campaign. But they're still unsure exactly who will benefit from their campaign.

"The bad part of this for Republicans is that they still have not galvanized around a single candidate," Palacio said. "Right now the show is anyone but Mitt Romney."

Colorado Republicans surprised everyone last week as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won the state, but he's far from locking up the nomination. There is still a lot of time for the candidates to damage each other.

"I don't think the Republican primary process has helped the ultimate nominee," Sen. Michael Bennet said.

The Republican race has dominated the news with who's up and who's down. Bennet says the lack of attention could hurt Democrats needing coverage.

"I don't think the president should wait. I think he should spend every minute he can outside Washington having a conversation with real Americans about what it is they're going through," Bennet said.

Democrats wouldn't say how much they need to raise to win Colorado. With no major primary contests, they're behind Republicans in setting up a national campaign. For now they're message is still based in Washington.

"We've got to keep the eye on the ball. The eye on the ball right now for the president and for Democrats is making sure we continue to move the economy forward and we continue to create jobs," Palacio said.

Democrats say they'll be watching the results of the coming primaries closely. They say the debate on the Republican side hasn't addressed what they call the real issues, so far.

Democrats have won national offices in Colorado in the last two major elections, electing Bennet to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and voting for President Barack Obama in 2008.

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