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Pres. Barack Obama in Arizona this past January. Time to head back!
The dearth of polling in Arizona gives us little feel for how the state is trending. Two early September polls, one by PPP, the other the internet-only YouGov, gave Mitt Romney solid leads. Those were conducted right after the Democratic convention, but before all the other Romney stumbles that have shaken up the race this month.
A mid-September poll by Purple Strategies gave Romney a narrow 48-45 lead over Pres. Barack Obama, but that poll, by Republican Alex Castellanos' outfit, is untested and quite frankly, erratic. I wouldn't bet anything on it.
This year, Obama's team talked early on about running in Arizona, which offers 11 electoral votes, but it never did. Now, with an internal Democratic poll showing Obama narrowly leading Romney, Obama's team might make a play for the state that has seen a 160,000 increase in voter registrations by Democratic-leaning Hispanics over the past four years.
Buying television time in Phoenix, the state's largest city, is expensive and Obama advisers are closely watching their finances.
Expanding the playing field wouldn't just help Obama, who frankly doesn't need it. But it would help our chances in Arizona's tight Senate race—which would be a far more valuable pickup than Arizona's 11 electoral votes.
Furthermore, if polling is showing Arizona in play, I wouldn't be surprised to see Georgia and maybe South Carolina far behind. It could mean the dam is about to burst.
4:20 PM PT: The article notes that Arizona has 160,000 new Latino registered voters since 2008. Obama lost that year by 200,000 votes. So new Latinos would certainly help close that gap. Also, you'd expect Romney to have a lower base since he wouldn't have home-field advantages like Romney did.
Originally posted to kos on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 02:15 PM PDT.