Is Arizona the newest battleground state?

Recent polling suggests John McCain shouldn't take his home state's Electoral College votes for granted.

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 29, 2008 3:20PM (EDT)

If you were making a list of states that should, by rights, be dependably red this year, Arizona would rank near the top. In 2000, it went for George W. Bush over Al Gore, 51-45. In 2004, it went for Bush again, 55-44. And it happens to be John McCain's home state.

But the latest poll to ask Arizona residents their plans for this year's presidential election shows McCain running neck-and-neck with Barack Obama. Conducted over the weekend by Arizona State University, the poll shows McCain leading 46-44, within the margin of error. He had a 7-point lead in the same survey one month ago. A Rasmussen poll also conducted recently shows McCain up by 5 points, also within the margin of error.

Democrats are seizing the opportunity to poke the Republican nominee over these results. The chairman of the state's Democratic Party is scheduled to hold a conference call Wednesday afternoon to discuss the numbers with reporters.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz.