West in play in ’08 vote | VailDaily.com

West in play in ’08 vote

Matt Joyce
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado

JACKSON, Wyo. ” Western governors say the region’s changing demographics could make some of their states unusually competitive in this year’s presidential election.

While much of the West is likely to remain reliably Republican, the governors say a chunk of the region ” particularly Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and North Dakota ” is still up for grabs.

About a dozen governors gathered recently in Wyoming for a Western Governors’ Association meeting that focused on regional issues of energy development, climate change, water supply and wildlife habitat.

Utah Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman says Republican John McCain of Arizona has proven his understanding of the West’s salient issues.

Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado says Democrat Barack Obama is primed to win Colorado’s mass of unaffiliated voters, a tactic Ritter says propelled Democrats to numerous state offices in recent years.

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