From Leslie Sanchez, CNN Contributor
John McCain spent part of this Election Day campaigning in New Mexico, a place where 41 percent of the registered voters had cast their votes even before the polls officially opened today.
According to the New Mexico Secretary of State, more than 344,000 voters cast early ballots and there were nearly 155,000 absentees. There are about 1.2 million registered voters in New Mexico.
In Bernalillo County, home to Albuquerque – where McCain spent part of his last day of campaigning - more than half the voters had already cast their ballots before the sun rose this morning over the Sandia Mountains.
Al Gore beat George W. Bush in New Mexico by 5,988 votes, and Bush returned the favor to John Kerry by just 366, so the Land of Enchantment is a presidential battleground in every sense of the word.
Dr. Christine Sierra of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and one of the best-recognized experts on Hispanic voting trends in the southwest, says the massive turnout will no doubt be the critical element in how the state votes tonight.
"In '04, the Republicans were able to increase their numbers in more counties than did the Democrats, which helped George W. Bush win this state," Sierra said today.
Minority turnout, she believes, is especially important. "Non-Hispanic whites tend to favor McCain," Sierra observes, while Hispanics favor the Democrats by margins of two to one or more. "If non-Hispanic whites were the only voters in New Mexico, McCain would win this state."
The ground effort in New Mexico, says Sierra, has been "phenomenal," especially by the Obama forces. The state's senior senator, Pete Domenici, is retiring and all three of the state's House seats are open, which has intensified interest.
Among the numbers Sierra will be watching tonight will be turnout figures from Election Day voting in Bernalillo County. "It'll be interesting to see if McCain's last minute visit here will affect turnout at all among those who chose not to vote early," Sierra said.
LISTEN TO YO MOMMA
VOTE 4 OB AMA
Count the number of letters in the words, "johnny sidney mccain," and what do you get? 666, or the mark of the beast. Coincidence? maybe not!
Hey Lilarose: You are right according to Larry Sinclair Obama has experienced it both ways!!!
Obama is going to be the next president of the USA... and its about time we get selfish old men out and put in someone who finally cares about doing the right thing for america. Its been very sad to see the ignorance of americans in this race. Watching them vote for an ignorant hick like sarah palin and a george bush wanna be....
I just want him to lose so that Sarah Palin will accept Playboys offer!!
Palin a true american centerfold!!
For those of you who say Obama is inexperienced, then tell me how McCain would turn around and get a VP who is much less experienced than the so-called born yesterday Democratic nominee, and continue to try to paint a picture of an amateur when describing his opponent.
You're so blinded by patriotism that it stains the land you call home.
But then again, you wouldnt see that because you'd be too busy praying to the skies that you love Jesus, and hopes he blesses the election.
Now get on back to the farm now, the corn needs a' pickin'.
McCain is scary. Palin is scarier. Glad some one brought up the McCain's involvement with Keating. McCain started as a gentlemen. In the debates he was rude and angry and making juvenile facial gestures. This man can deal with world leaders? Yeah, maybe like Krushev with his shoe. My husband is Viet Nam veteran and for Obama. Being a POW does nothing as far as military strategy or ability to lead an army. He's no more ready than Obama. Obama is intelligent and presidential. If McCain says "my friends" one more time I'll throw up. He is not my friend. He is the friend of big business and the wealthy. He has lied during his campaign and blown things up. Obama is a socialist? Sarah Palin and McCain need to get out the Bible and read some of what Jesus said. Maybe then they won't knock Obama so much – then again, maybe not. I doubt they care.
Obama cant even stop the killing in Chicago how will he stop it in the middle east? Answer: he wont
The day on which the old America, the America of Pilgrims from 1620 and its faith in her own special destiny died. This puritan christain based America firmly rooted in its Covenant with God is past. It is not black and white issue. Rather it is 100 years ol strugle for modern progressive hell, after the model that liberalism so successfuly tested in Nazi Germany.
It is the issue between God and men-made gnostic faith, that for so long already was the dominant religion of West and Cemtral Europe. Not God has rejected US, but US has rejected God. This victorus march of darkness can be dated back to the beining of the imperial America of Theodor Roosevelt, In America we havest the bitter fruits of new academic world of reason and open mindness. Only time will show the genuine bitternes of these mediocre Satanic fuits. For now there is a joy among the yound and full, as there was in Geerman Universities Nazi Asta in 1932, halc educated fools celebrate their victory. What a surorise once they wake up.
I think that McCain should win on being president because he has had a lot more experience of a lot of things through his life time. I also think that McCain should win because he knows alot and I mean a lot more than Obama. I don't think that any body should vote for obama because he wants to take away every single gun in the whole USA. Now on my side you should have guns because some people need guns to live. YOU ROCK AND i THINK THAT YOU ARE GOING TO WIN MacCain.
I'm a "Non-Hispanic White" person living in New Mexico that voted for Obama. And I'm not the only one by far. Don't be so sure that the "Non-Hispanic White" New Mexican population will vote McCain.
Jeff, we "won" in Iraq like we "won" in Vietnam.
The United States hasn't "won" a war since we shared the win in WW2.
Ask the people of Iraq if we "won" the war. I doubt they would agree with you.
Ya you obama duds ,he beat hillary mostly in the caucas states where the fraud was running rampant!!!
His name is John, not Johnny. REALLY
That is the same as Barack Hussein Obama, ooh scary name, must be bad.
Obama should be the next president but Im afraid that old racist rednecks are going to destroy this country for another 4 years
I understand obama's first order will be to change the name of the white house to the black house. Then tax working americans and give it to non working americans.
To Jeff, above - who says you shouldn't vote for anybody without military experience.
We respect your service and are grateful for it. We want you to have the best of benefits for the rest of your life - housing, medical care, insurance to provide for your family. Thank you, sir. As the son of a WWII veteran, I believe you are all national heroes.
But let's not forget that there are those of us who served our country but not in uniform. We are citizens too, and our voices are what you sacrificed for.
You want only to vote for the military? Go to any one of the Third World hell-holes in South America or Africa.
Im really tierd of hearing that mccain is a war hero did everyone forget that he was captured for five years HELLO!!!! DOESNT SOUND LIKE MUCH OF A HERO TO ME I WOULD RATHER HAVE A PRESIDENT WITH NO MILITARY EXSPERIANCE THAT HAVE ONE WITH FAILED EXSPERIANCE
I was ready to vote for him, being a Veteran..... but then he had to go and pick someone with no experience, and even less common sense. Whoever ran McCain's campaign let him down by allowing Palin to be selected.
That said, I had to vote 3rd party. Still took part in the process, but couldn't bring myself to vote for either major party.
to answer your questions...no i didn't vote for Bush. and yes Bush had military experience just not active duty. Also ask the people in Iraq if we won and most will say yes. Until you've been there in the last few months don't compare the war to vietnam. It's completely different.
Nominate Snoop Dawg! He couldn't be worse than the last 8 years...
And he would keep us just as safe as any!
Doesn't War infer that you have an opponent?
From what I can tell We have Iraq, and now we are teaching them to control it without a dictator.
It's really hard to help a country when the peolpe who want to help the change keep being blown up!
My friend had to gun butt a little kid, in Iraq. Because someone told him to hold a gernaide and run up to their convoy. A little Kid, these are the people you are dealing with.
We won a war.
It's the staying behind and cleaning up the mess that's the problem, but at least we helping.