Presidential Election, 2008

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  • The West played a pivotal role in the 2008 presidential election, pitting Republican nominee and Arizona senator John McCain against Democratic nominee and Illinois senator Barack Obama. Historically, the western states tended to vote Republican. While most of the western states continued that tradition by supporting McCain, a handful of swing states—including Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico—supported Obama. The issue of immigration would be a decisive factor for many voters in these states.

    McCain should have had the edge against Obama in the western states. He was from the state of Arizona, had a fiscally conservative voting record, and was a staunch supporter of immigration reform. However, key western swing states were up for grabs in 2008—most notably Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. There were a ...

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