I know you’ve heard this. I have, too. “The battleground has moved West.” To a large extent, this is true. And while we probably will may plenty of attention to traditional swing states like Florida & Ohio this fall, we probably also will be spending much more time analyzing developments in places like Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Montana.
But you know what? The Presidential Race isn’t the only interesting race out west. Let’s take a look at some extra goodies that we can look forward to.
Nevada is a critical state for Democrats this fall. First off, this state is a top target for Barack Obama to make the goal of at least 270 electoral votes. But in addition, we have two important Congressional races that can earn us two much needed seats as we expand our majority.
The 3rd Congressional District is one of the hottest races out West, if not the hottest. Dina Titus is running strong in a district where Democrats now outnumber Republicans. Both the Nevada Democratic Party and the Obama campaign are working hard here, and the key for them will be turning out all the newly registered Democrats while also winning over the swing voters that decide both Presidential elections and Congressional elections here in suburban Las Vegas. The Bush-McCain GOP incumbent Jon Porter is running scared, and we can tell. Dina Titus even has new ads on the air, and with our support she’ll have everything she needs to win.
The 2nd Congressional District may have been tradionally a Republican stronghold, but Jill Derby is changing that. The race is competitive, and the Bush-McCain GOP footsoldier Dean Heller is already throwing everything but the kitchen sink to maintain his edge. We have the power to hold Heller’s feet to the fire, and ultimately help Derby give Heller the boot.
Although Arizona may be John McCain’s home state, that isn’t stopping Democrats from competing hard here. And in addition to the Presidential race, we have a great candidate in Ann Kirkpatrick who looks to replace the corrupt (and retiring) GOPer Rick Renzi. Ann Kirkpatrick has worked hard for her community, has real Arizona values, and is running to bring about real change. This is one of our best chances at picking up a seat out west, so let’s take it!
We all know New Mexico is one of our top swing states that we can turn blue. But in addition to Obama’s victory, we can also send another Democrat to Congress! Martin Heinrich is running strong in this Albuquerque district… In fact, so strong that he’s now taken the lead in the latest independent poll! The voters now see that Republican Darren White is just another Bush-Cheney sycophant, and they’re ready for real change.
OK, there’s no denying it. Colorado is one of the top swing states this year. Colorado is one of our best opportunities outside of New Mexico for a Western pick-up this year, but it’s also a state where the Republicans are going for broke as they’re doing everything they can to prevent us from turning the state blue. But because we have the facts, the issues, and the momentum on our side, we have a great opportunity to not just turn Colorado blue on the Presidential level, but also make the state’s Congressional Delegation bluer as well.
Mark Udall is currently a Member of Congress representing the Boulder area, and he’s the Democrat running for Senate here. Udall has a strong record of standing up for the values we believe in as well as working across the aisle to make change happen. He’s been a leader on energy and environmental issues, and he’s really the perfect fit for Coloradans on the issues they care about most. Despite a recent barrage of ugly attacks, Udall has the edge in this race. Still, our friends at the DSCC are taking the GOP threat seriously… And we should, too. As long as we have Udall’s back, we can win here.
Another great opportunity for us in Colorado lies with Betsy Markey in the state’s 4th Congressional District. This area has traditionally been more Republican-leaning, but that’s quickly changing. The incumbent anti-environment, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-working-class Marilyn Musgrave is so extremist that she couldn’t even get 50% last time she ran for reelection. And already, Markey has taken the lead in the last indpendent poll done in the district. So far, it looks like the people here would rather see someone who’s ready to work for them like Betsy Markey rather than face another two years with Musgrave. And with the DCCC and EMILY’S List making a move here, we know this is a real race that we can win.
Now I know we can win Oregon for Obama. It’s a pretty reliably blue state, although the polls are often close here. With some hard work and a strong message, we can not only keep Oregon blue for Obama… But also send another Democrat to the Senate!
Jeff Merkley is the Democrat running for Senate here. He has a strong record as Oregon’s State House Speaker of bringing all sides to the table to pass legislation that has made a difference in people’s lives while still holding true to his progressive values. That’s why a multitude of progressive advocates, such as Oregon’s labor unions, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood PAC, and NARAL Pro-Choice America have all endorsed Merkley. Now the Republican incumbent Gordon Smith may claim to be “bipartisan”, but we know he’s just another Bush-Cheney-McCain enabler. The polls here may be close, but withour help and the DSCC’s help Merkley can win.
So will you join us in helping these good Democrats win? We can win the West… As long as we stand up and fight! So will you fight with us? If we want change, we need to suppport it and work for it. So come on, let’s bring some positive change to the West!