For Dems, West May Be Winnable in November

The states moving fastest from right to left are not in the East
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 8:56 PM CST
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, speaks as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., looks on during a Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The political geography of Western states has been shifting from Republican to Democratic, and four—Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona—could be winnable for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton for the first time in decades, Colorado Confidential writes. Party brass wouldn’t talk up a “Western strategy,” but Democratic success in the Mountain time zone could make other swing states less essential.

Democrats now outnumber Republicans in New Mexico and Nevada, and have recently swept to political power in Colorado—where independent ranks and Democratic registration are also bulging. A GOP nomination of John McCain put the senator's native Arizona out of reach, and Obama may have trouble winning Latino voters, but Harry Reid’s party is definitely laying tracks out West.