November 4th, 2009
03:53 PM ET
5 years ago

The West is tough terrain for Democrats

Denver, Colorado (CNN) – The western United States, with its independent streak and growing population, is the terrain both political parties are hoping to mine for electoral gains in the coming years.

With Denver hosting the 2008 Democratic Convention and a more concentrated effort in the region, the Obama campaign was able to capture Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada in last year's presidential election. Some Democrats hoped those results foretold a transformation, but a year later, political experts are saying not so fast.

Related video: Colorado senator discusses challenges

The West gives President Obama his lowest approval ratings, and the Democratic Party has a 45 percent approval rating in the area - the only region in the country in which it gets under 50 percent, according to an October 16-18 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

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Filed under: Democrats
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    The west will trend democratic as the demographic of the population changes.

    November 4, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    I live in the West and, like many of my neighbors, greatly appreciate President Obama's work ethic, intelligence, willingness to address real problems and belief in the American people's ability to clean up the mess of the Bush-Cheney years and get our country back on track!

    Keep up the good work, Mr. President!!!

    November 4, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Chase

    Evidently NJ and Virginia didn't know Obama had a mandate either. All we have heard for the last year is that this is the Death of conservatism & the GOP. Liberal Democrats were remaking America over a mandate they never had and it was all talk just like Obama.

    November 4, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Jay T.

    You must add his approval rating is 12 percent in Texas. That has to impact it. What do you think?

    November 4, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    The way they have given up their party to the liberals, the north, south and east will all be tough territory in 2010. I do believe we are going to have the biggest switch in history and Obama is one and done.

    November 4, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. ran

    Not to worry Democrats. we here in the west know what the Republicans stand for: fear/hate/obstructionism/divide/denies basic rights/wants government control of morality.

    We will not go backwards in 2010 or 2012. The current republican party will not succeed. Enough of their hate/fear/obstructionism.

    November 4, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Marie in California

    I hope those in the West retain that "independent streak." That is what made this country into the great nation that it is......individual independence and NOT collectivism.

    November 4, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. george from alaska

    good for the west...and as far as palin...we'll "postpone" our interest in ANYTHING you have to say until...well...never!!!

    November 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Nicholas Cummings

    I think it's because non-partisans can see that Obama has done little for OUR country other than hand money to corporations, spend money we don't have, and stop for photo ops.

    To Obama: WHERE ARE ALL OF THOSE JOBS YOU PROMISED?

    You've put money into BUREAUCRACY for you political friends, but the contractors and companies who employ the working class people you're supposed to help are seeing nothing. Meanwhile, states are delaying projects waiting for the money you promised to finally make it through the pipeline, while contracting companies go out of business waiting. Way to go!

    November 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    LOL you really think place like Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska are going to go Democrat? Look at what is actually in that area, it has normally been conservative because there aren't that many people there, very few with formal educations, and really no reason to go Democratic. Heck Idaho alone was home to the Aryan Nation and there have been many anti goverment factions in Montana so this is nothing really new. Thank God for the TRUE west of California, Oregon and Washington.

    November 4, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Jane/Seattle

    Hey, CNN, you only mentioned 3 states! What are we up here in the Great Pacific Northwest? But then everyone must know that Seattle is a VERY Liberal city! Did ya forget California? But every good Republican knows that all those filthy rich Hollywood Liberals supported Obama! Right? We are still stuck with Republican Congressman Dave Reichart (The King County former Sheriff who rose on the Green River Killer fame-Gary Ridgeway) in the ritzy Eastside, Bellvue areas! And is he ever a shill for them! Why not mention Oregon, too. We are actually the real WEST-the rest are Mountain! This here is pure bias, framing and quite false information to pander to the elements you wish to reach. Peace

    November 4, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Brenda

    I would say that Virginia is also going to be tough terrain for the Democrats!!!

    And, you should see Obama's approval ratings in Ohio!!!

    Ohio is also going to be tough terrain for the Democrats.

    November 4, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. LacrosseMom

    The West is tough, the majority of the states are filled with gun-loving-war-mongers. However, this is changing. Colorado went Blue in 2008; so did New Mexico.

    And I bet...... that AZ....... will vote McCain out of office in 2010!

    November 4, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Georgia

    I can not understand why the people were not up in arms with the massive spending of the Bush Administration. The spending on the war and the bank bailouts are what put this country in debt. Bush entered the White House with a surplus in the U.S. Treasury, and in less than 2 years the U.S. Treasury had a deficit. During the six years of the Bush Administration, there was a Republican majority in the House and Senate. No one had tea parties, no one complained about the massive spending.

    Now, the same people sit back and watch their Republican elected officials become a party of No, of non-participation, just so the Democratic President can not succeed in improving this country. They are not representing their contituents, because their contituents need health care reform, need a better economy, need to improve the environment, but no the Republicans don't care about their contituents needs, they care about making sure that the Democratic President does not succeed.

    I'm glad that I did not vote for not one of those spineless follower of foolishness.

    November 4, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    If the democrats attack guns, religion, free speech and the rural way of like in the West it will hurt them. Cap and Trade and Kyoto II will affect agriculture and cattle by taxing meat production and energy sources which will be passed on to the consumers. Control the food and energy and medical and you can control the peoples lives.

    November 4, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. B

    Anyone who actually starts making things happen upsets folks.
    People talk a lot about change, but usually do not like the- real consequences -of doing it.

    Bush did absolutely nothing positive for eight years and people did not say much of anything. Now that Obama is really making things happen, some are really upset about it.... Most Americans still support him and will continue to!

    November 4, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Perspective

    From the same poll, CNN reported nearly a week ago the GOP is at its lowest favorable rating in a decade.

    Also, only 20% would identify as Republican.

    Finally, it seems curious the GOP's rating in the West is missing in this article to make balanced comparisons.

    November 4, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Reagan was wrong

    You know what? I say forget this whole nation-state concept and just divide the US up into chunks/zones based on local demographics. The Deep South and the West Coast, for example, don't really have much in common and will never see eye to eye on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, etc. There's too much squabbling among too many politicians (and lobbyists and special interest groups and etc.)

    I'm sorry, but I think the American experiment has failed; I don't think an area as vast as the US filled with an increasingly polarized citizenry is sustainable in the long term.

    November 4, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Dar

    The truth is coming out and America is waking up

    November 4, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. proud conservative

    It is going to be especially tough for Harry Reid here in Nevada!!!

    November 4, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Dave

    Are you people for real? I have no problem admitting Bush and the democratically controlled congress made many mistakes. But how is it correct for this administration to increase our debt and deficits four fold in the name of progress? The stupidity of people makes me fear the future of our country. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

    November 4, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |