Could Arizona Be a Swing State?

With John McCain being a long time fixture in the Arizona political landscape, and with Arizona being considered a very conservative state, one would assume that McCain would be a lock for Arizona’s 10 electoral votes. Apparently, even McCain himself isn’t so sure. Here’s a clip of a story from the Washington Independent:

The biggest shift in the Arizona political landscape has been in the number of voters registering as independents — up 7.6 percent in the last year. Arizona is now essentially a tri-party state — Republicans make up 38 percent of registered voters; Democrats, 34 percent, and independents, 27 percent. Securing a plurality of independents will be crucial to the presidential race here and Obama has the early edge. Without the enthusiastic support of rank-and-file Republicans, McCain could face a desert dogfight that could wind up costing him the White House in a close contest.

In a clear signal that Arizona’s 10 electoral votes are up for grabs, the McCain campaign has added Arizona to its list of 24 “battleground states” with their 242 electoral votes.

It will be interesting to see how this develops. As the story notes, a poll taken last month has McCain ahead 50-39. That’s easily within striking distance for Obama. We’ll see.


One thought on “Could Arizona Be a Swing State?

  1. The real issue is that we shouldn’t have battleground states and spectator states in the first place. Every vote in every state should be politically relevant in a presidential election. And, every vote should be equal. We should have a national popular vote for President in which the White House goes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral vote — that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule which awards all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state. Because of this rule, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. Two-thirds of the visits and money are focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money goes to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people are merely spectators to the presidential election.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 18 legislative chambers (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Washington, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, California, and Vermont). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.


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