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Some conservatives insist that Obama’s position on marriage will hurt him in Colorado.

“Six years is not a long time,” said Carrie Gordon Earll of CitizenLink, the public policy arm of Focus on the Family. She was referring to the state passage of its gay marriage ban. “I would think a majority of voters would say, ‘That does not align with my views.’”

Others counter that Colorado’s views may be changing as quickly as the nation’s. Consider that a handful of Republicans in the House said they’d support civil unions, meaning the measure would have passed if GOP leaders hadn’t maneuvered to prevent a vote. Senate Democrats have passed civil unions two years in a row, both times joined by Republican women in the Senate.

Some Republicans fear that the GOP’s civil unions stand in Colorado could harm the party with independent voters.

“The truth is we may have not only sacrificed our razor-thin House majority, but we also may have permanently impaired Republican prospects in Colorado at all levels, including for the presidential race,” said Alexander Hornaday, president of Colorado Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights organization.

Then there are those who doubt the issue’s potency come the fall. Among them is Kirk Fordham, the executive director of the Denver-based Gill Action Fund. The political organization is funded by Tim Gill, a nationally prominent gay rights activist credited with helping fund a Democratic takeover of Colorado’s legislature in 2005.

“By the time we get to November,” Fordham predicted, “the attention will largely have shifted back to economic issues.”