By Daniel Politi, Slate Magazine
The Los Angeles Times leads with a look at how the two top presidential contenders campaigned in New Mexico yesterday in a poignant sign of how important a few Western states will be in the November election. President Bush won Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico by a very slim margin four years ago, and the three swing states are an important part of Obama’s strategy to redraw the electoral map.
There are signs that, just like much of the country, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico are turning away from Republicans. This trend could work in Obama’s favor, particularly when it’s added to the fact that a hard-fought primary campaign has resulted in tens of thousands of new registered Democratic voters. But McCain is a westerner in a region where voters have often turned away from politicians who are seen as big-city liberals and members of the party establishment. Obama has also had trouble wooing Latino voters, who make up a significant part of the population and who could determine who wins the three Western battleground states. It’s therefore no surprise that, as the WP notes, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson stuck close to Obama yesterday.