(CNN) – Democrats are making a late play for Arizona as new polls show home-state Senator John McCain with a shrinking single-digit edge over Barack Obama.
A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released this week suggested McCain holds a 53 percent to 46 percent advantage. Other new surveys have indicated an even tighter race.
Earlier this week, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee paid for negative robo-calls in the state, telling voters Obama’s election “invites a major international crisis he will be unprepared to handle alone.
“If Democrats win full control of government, they will want to give civil rights to terrorists and talk unconditionally to dictators and state sponsors of terror. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the experience and judgment to lead America,” said the calls.
MoveOn.org said Thursday it was launching its ‘Obamacan’ ad statewide on broadcast and cable in response. The ad features a life-long Republican who supports Obama.
The Obama campaign sent its supporters in the state a message from national field director Jon Carson calling for volunteers, and pointing to reports McCain was "struggling in his own backyard."
“Supporters like you have put us within striking distance. Now it's time to pull off what no one expected,” said Carson.
The fresh effort forces the Arizona senator to direct late-campaign spending to his home state. Democratic officials - who say the state would likely have gone blue if McCain were not on the ballot - concede it's unlikely Obama will beat the Arizona senator there. But they say the move signals their confidence is more than symbolic - Democrats can afford to keep Arizona volunteers in their home state in the race's final days this cycle instead of directing them to neighboring New Mexico and Nevada, perennial battlegrounds.