Ciruli says Colorado is one of four main battleground states, including Florida, Virginia and Ohio.
Ciruli says President Obama can get to about 242 electoral votes if he wins the states that have been going regularly for Democrats for years.
"It's that last 28 that are difficult," Ciruli said. "He has got to have Ohio. If for some reason he doesn't have Ohio, then he's got to have Florida and Colorado. Or Virginia. That's part of that mix to get him to 270 votes. Because Colorado is so closely balanced in terms of its partisanship, Democrat, Republican, it's ideology, liberal and conservative. This will probably be the place where the final battle takes place."
In 2008, Obama beat Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) by 9 percentage points in Colorado. Ciruli does not believe that whoever wins the race will do so by such a large margin in 2012.
"I think those 9 percentage points are going to shrink down to maybe 2. If you remember the [Sen. Michael] Bennet-[Weld County District Attorney Ken] Buck race, the senate race about a year ago, it was 40,000 votes - a little less than 2 percentage points. That's what we're talking about, a handful of votes, probably decided very late because unaffiliated voters, which we have so many, decide late," Ciruli said.
Ciruli says Obama has to do some very key things to win Colorado again.
"One of the things he's doing is coming back constantly. Apparently we're going to have a visit here shortly and we just had one," he said.
Obama visited Colorado on Sept. 27 and plans another visit the week of Oct. 24.
"But he has to target two things. Number one, he's going after his base. He's trying to get Democrats to come back, minority voters, young voters that have been indicating in polls that they're disenchanted right now. They're not as active as they might be, so he came back and is talking about jobs. He's talking aggressively about Republicans. But then he has to go after those unaffiliated voters. And interestingly, they don't like too much partisanship. They like things sort of calm and things to get done. So he's going to have to have two different messages and they conflict a bit," Ciruli said.
Ciruli says the Republicans also have to unite behind either a more conservative candidate like Herman Cain or Texas Gov. Rick Perry, or a more moderate candidate like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
In the interview, Ciruli also said, "If the Republicans can come up with a strong candidate, then [the presidential race] is going to be an unbelievable knockout."
Asked for clarification later, Ciruli said, a "strong Republican candidate will produce a knock down fight."
Colorado's primary election is in February.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)