Above: President of the Academy Obama at last year’s award ceremony, giving the standard hour-and-a-half teaser speech before finally revealing the winner.

WASHINGTON — According to a source within the State of the Union Award Academy, Vermont, Colorado and California are the frontrunners heading into tonight’s State of the Union Award Ceremony.

The source pointed to Vermont’s push toward a single-payer healthcare system and Colorado’s trailblazing legalization of recreational marijuana, adding that they had briefly considered Washington as a finalist, but ultimately felt that the state had “too much of a proximity to Canada.”

The academy also admitted that California — while not technically an associated state as much as a “lingering hippie commune that clings to Nevada and refuses to just float away into the Pacific already” — has happier people who benefit from unabashed environmental protection laws, a comprehensive healthcare system in Kaiser Permanente, and a generally progressive stance on gay marriage, despite its rocky history with Prop 8.

Says the source, “California was among the first states to legalize gay marriage. They were second only to Massachusetts, in fact, but after the New England counterpart gave us post-healthcare Mitt Romney, well, let’s just say they won’t be nominated for this award again any time soon.”

At press time, reports indicate that no matter which state wins the prestigious award, all of the finalists are just happy to be not Texas.

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