Once upon a time the West was solid GOP territory, but in 2008, the Democrats hope to make the region competitive.
The Los Angeles Times and the Politico have very similar but interesting articles today about how the top presidential contenders for each party are campaigning throughout the West early this week. Both Barack Obama and John McCain gave remarks in New Mexico for Memorial Day; Obama is in Las Vegas and McCain is in Denver today; and Obama visits Colorado while McCain shoots over to Reno tomorrow.
Politico’s Carrie Buddoff Brown explains the important of the region, writing, “President Bush picked up 19 electoral votes across these three states – the margin by which Democrat John Kerry fell short in the Electoral College in 2004. He edged out Kerry by five percentage points in Colorado, two points in Nevada and less than one point in New Mexico.”
L.A. Times’ Maeve Reston, Noam N. Levey and Scott Martelle break down the raw tallies, explaining, “Bush defeated Democrat John F. Kerry in the three states by a combined 127,011 votes — just 8,412 votes more than his margin in Ohio. Had Kerry won the three Western battlegrounds, he would be president.”
Our friends E.J. Kalafarski and Chadwick Matlin at Slate have a great map of where the candidates are campaigning — here’s the link to the interactive of their go-to site “Map the Candidates.” As a side note, check out how Hillary Clinton is still actively campaigning in the primary states of South Dakota and Montana.
Obama and McCain Tour the Mountain West (Map the Candidates)
And I’ll let Mark Knopfler take care of the soundtrack for this post: