John McCain needs help in his own backyard. Except for California, Oregon and Washington State, the West has solidly voted Republican. Now that has changed. Given the job losses of the industrial Midwest, lots of union workers- most of them Democrats- have fled to the West and South looking for jobs.
Given the demographic shift, solid Republican states such as New Mexico and Colorado have voted for a Democrat every now and then. Bill Clinton won Colorado in 1992, but a strong showing by Ross Perot there probably ate into GOP support. Since then, it’s been back in Republican hands. Al Gore won New Mexico by 300 votes in 2000, only to have President Bush win it back in 2004.
Now things have changed again. Boosted by a high-profile Democratic National Convention in Denver, Barack Obama now leads in the polls. The latest Real Clear Politics composite poll has it Obama 51 percent, McCain 45 percent.
That’s still within the margin of error and McCain could turn the tide. He simply must. With Obama ahead in New Mexico and even Nevada right now, McCain needs the nine Electoral College votes held by Colorado. Even more daunting, he needs to turn the tables as well in either New Mexico or Nevada. The bottom line, McCain must win at least two of the states which border his Arizona home.
It’s just a thought, but Sarah Palin should spend more time out here. She’s a Westerner as well, and certainly has appeal to those who call this region home.
I’ll be back blogging in California Tuesday. Check in at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.