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.
DOWN with the repukes.
This man is the most pathetic human to ever run for office in this great nation. We need true hero's that do not commit treason. McCain has failed in everything he has done...POW committed treason, Husband committed adultery, senator voted with Bush 90%...a complete and total failure from birth til now. No way, no how, no McCain!
Obama: A true hero, a true leader!
OBAMA is the way to go
What a sensational article title, CNN. We all know who your folks support.
Captain Planet and Obama... hand in hand.
MCCAIN looks like he is shaking this ladys hand after doing 300 benchpresses and constipated. Come on now, we need someone a little more physically able to handle this position, we are talking Commander in Chief not just a regular insurance salesman.
It took women 50 years to earn the right to vote over an African-American, so it is only natural that the stupid people in America would vote for Obama over Hilary or McCain/Palin. I think we are about sick of the race card being played...enough is enough...it is not a time to make history but a time to lead.
Alright McCain we proud of you. The ACORN cheat leader will lose.
McCain ALL THE WAY. Obama is young and inexperienced, lets leave it there
As a historian I find the facts in your arguement correct, but they do not seem to corrolate. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. I, too, wanted to see Hillary as the nominee, but she lost fair and square. She supports Obama because her policies are very similar. Can we please all be adults about our opinions and quite calling each other stupid?
Obama a true hero? Has he given up anything for this country? I'm active duty army and seeing how close the president has to be with us I'll never vote for someone with no military experience.
So the PUMAS are still out here pouting?
Please! Hillary is ashamed of you people. You are all transparent and only interested in causing trouble. It didn't work.
Kristy--my hope for you is that someday you will actually understand what is happening in the world and not just follow someone's incoherent talking points.
Wow!!! It's not like a news agency (who claims to be non-basis) would report on both candidates before one of them is president. I mean that's is just stupid!
Weather we are red or blue or green everyone should have a voice and should not be chided by others for wanting information about their candidate.
Go Vote & Have A Right To Complain!
my choice obama-biden, mccain palin make me want to throw up VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN
Hopes he kicks Obama booty tonight!
Red, Red WHINER
How is Obama a hero???? What has he done, that would warrant hero status? What has he truly lead?
GMAFB, had he committed treason he would be in levenworth or worse. Newsflash, thousands, THOUSANDS committ adultery every day, it doesn't make them a failure it makes them human,and guess what Bush isn't entirely to blame for the mess that this country is in, for the past 2 years the democrats have had the congressional majority. Amazingly enough, this meltdown started within the last 2 years.
We, as Americans and as adults, need to take responsibility for our lack of responsibility. I am a democrat and have always voted democrat, there's my part-my responsibility.
Jeff....what about Bush.....he was National Guard and never showed up.........????
Most of our best presidents were "young and inexperienced." Experience can go both ways, and having been in the business world most of my life I know how corrupt "experience" can be.
What is so great about killing people via the military that you would want to give it even 1 percent of your convictions?
If you love the military so much, go back to Iraq and finish the "win." You see, you cannot win any war in the mid-East and you don't have to be military to understand that.
@Red, red WHINE
Don't forget that he failed at a test of ethics as a member of the Keating Five!
We won in Iraq. Realize how the media stopped talking about it. Our troops aren't dying anymore. We're rebuilding a country. I personally don't agree with the war but we won.
How many illegals are down there voting for Hussein Obama? Send the beaners back home!
McCain will hand the country to terrorists. Obama will make this country great. Who do you pick?
Obama-a true hero? A hero of what? What planet do you reside? If you want your 401K to go to the govt with mandatory 5% contributions, and no say in the investment then you've got your man. And, if you want your health insurance regulated by the govt then you got your man. Not to mention his feelings of you being selfish if you don't want to pay more tax. I already pay 40% in taxes and he wants the majority of the 60% I have left. Who is going to educate my kids if they take the rest of it? Who will make my mortgage pmt and feed my family? The govt – yea right! The selfish parties are the mortgage brokers who got this economy in this mess not those who don't want to pay more taxes. I'm sure you don't want to pay more taxes either you just want to be on the receiving end of the share the wealth. The only ones who will benefit from Obama as President is the people who won't work and expect the rest of us to support them. Which one are you? This is America – land of the free not a communist country where they take all our hard earned money so we can all 'share the wealth' and live in poverty. Get a job and get the facts before you vote!
Jeff, did you vote for Bush? No military experience...
Why are my comments not being added?