ONBOARD THE CNN ELECTION EXPRESS (CNN) - We’re in Southwestern Utah, on the road to Las Vegas.
Utah is considered the most Republican state in the country. President Bush grabbed 72 percent of the vote here in 2004. The governor and both senators and two of the state’s three house members are Republicans. The last time the Democrats won this state in a presidential election was 1964.
We started this morning in Grand Junction, Colorado. After a couple of live reports by CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider for our domestic and international networks, we packed up and headed west.
We crossed over the border into Utah and soon set up shop in the middle of the rugged desert. The gang in the control room asked for our location. I couldn’t give a town as a locator, because there was no town for miles around. Grand County was the best I could do.
We moved on and drove some through some beautiful yet desolate landscapes, as we made our way west through the Beehive state.
We’re on the road to Las Vegas, where CNN and the Nevada Democratic Party will put on Thursday night’s presidential debate. The national party made Nevada more of player in the presidential primary calendar, moving the state’s caucuses up to mid January. Nevada’s growing Latino population and its large union workforce are two reasons why the Democrats made the move.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser