U.S Senator Ken Salazar has an interesting op-ed in today’s L.A. Times, “How Democrats can mine the West.” The Colorado senator explains how the priorities of voters in the mountain west favor Dems in this cycle:
The demographic trends are factors, but to find the real story of Western Democrats’ success, you have to get beyond Denver, Albuquerque and Las Vegas to the farms, fields and rural communities that have been ignored by the White House for the last seven years. These Democrats have found their voice in these areas, developing common-sense solutions to bridge the gap dividing the parties….people are eager for someone who will support family farms, lead a renewable-energy renaissance in rural areas, fight for the middle class and deliver on healthcare reform. They want energetic, responsive, pragmatic leadership…Westerners are turning to Democrats to stand up for their land, water and way of life.
…Our tradition of independence leads us to choose our leaders based on the person rather than the party. We admire independent thinkers, not go-it-alone mavericks. We prefer consensus and compromise to posturing and partisanship. We like outsiders, newcomers and bold thinkers who are able to adjust to the pace of our time and the complexity of its challenges.
Salazar’s words provide a pretty good psychological template for Dem ads in the region. And as Salazar describes the hopes of mountain west voters, it looks like a very tough sell for McCain.