McCain in Serious Jeopardy of Losing His Home State
by Jonathan Singer, Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 04:58:01 PM EDT
I have been writing for over a year about John McCain's astonishingly weak level of home state support in Arizona, and how that weakness could make it more difficult for him to carry the state this fall. In the period following the Republican National Convention, there were at least some indications that McCain's problems in Arizona had subsided. But in the time since, two new polls have provided a real basis to wonder whether Barack Obama has a chance of turning the Grand Canyon state blue in a week and a half.
Project New West (D)
John McCain: 48 percent
Barack Obama: 44 percent
John McCain: 43.5 percent
Barack Obama: 41.5 percent
The Obama campaign isn't advertising in Arizona, and although there are efforts underway in the state, it certainly isn't a priority right now in the way that, the neighboring states of Nevada and New Mexico, and the kitty-corner state of Colorado are. What's more, although Obama would certainly be happy, if not elated, to earn Arizona's 10 electoral votes this fall, they are far from necessary for him to hit the magic 270 mark.
Nevertheless, perceptions can matter as much as anything else in politics, and if Obama were able to carry Arizona despite the fact that McCain has represented the state for a quarter-century, it would certainly bolster an argument that Obama had a strong mandate in a way that almost no other state could. This isn't to say that the Obama campaign should shift resources to Arizona at this point. Yet at the same time, it probably wouldn't be a bad thing to keep an eye on the race in the state over the remaining week and a half of the campaign.