West Turning Blue, Dems Say

Party boasts strong voter registration, turnout in Mountain states
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2008 12:54 PM CDT
Members of the Culinary Workers Union cheer as they announce the endorsement of Presidential candidate Barack Obama during a news conference at the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The Mountain West has historically gone for the GOP, but thanks to aggressive grass-roots organizing, Democrats believe they have a shot at turning red states blue, Politico reports. More field offices, opened much earlier than the GOP's, have boosted registration in Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. “This presidential cycle is different,” says the head of New Mexico’s Democratic Party. “The ground game is completely different.”

Voter-registration efforts combined with surging Democratic turnout could prove the deciding factor in what have been very tight races the last few elections. The unusually early Nevada caucus this year energized Democratic efforts; Dems now have a 60,000 edge in registered voters over Republicans, who held a 10,000 edge in 2004.