Boulder, Colo., one of the most liberal cities in the U.S., will serve as the backdrop for a GOP presidential debate this fall.
The University of Colorado, Boulder announced this week that it will host a group of Republican presidential hopefuls on Oct. 28 for an event titled "Your Money, Your Vote: The Presidential Debate on the Economy." The debate will be aired nationally by CNBC and is expected to serve as a platform for participating candidates to discuss policies in connection with job growth, tax reform, federal spending and the country's general economic conditions.
"Our nation's economy and place in the world, job growth, entrepreneurship and the pursuit of the American dream live at the very center of CNBC's mission each day and will be the centerpiece of our line of focused questioning at this debate," CNBC chairman, Mark Hoffman, said in a press release.
John Straayer, a political science professor at Colorado State University, expressed confusion over the debate's location.
According to the Coloradan, Straayer said he was "stumped" when he learned that the Republican candidates would gather in the notoriously progressive college town.
"I'm at a bit of a loss why they picked there versus any one, two or three other suitable venues," he said.
Straayer says Republican candidates would have a better chance at influencing right-leaning independents or moderate Democrats if the economy-themed debate were held in one of the state's more purple counties politically, according to the Coloradan.
The state's voter registration statistics indicate that just 18 percent of Boulder's active voter population is registered as Republican, while registered Democrats make up 41.7 percent. The university's faculty is characteristically liberal as well. Last July, Red Alert Politics reported that 60 percent of CU Boulder's faculty self-identify as liberal compared to only 13 percent who describe themselves as conservative.
At the congressional level, Colorado splits almost evenly with four Republican and three Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives. After frequently supporting Republicans in presidential elections, the state went for then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.