[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/22/art.obamatravel.ap.jpg caption="Obama is heading west next week."]
(CNN) - Barack Obama will travel to three crucial swing states next week, the latest sign the Illinois senator is moving into the general election phase of his campaign.
As first reported by the Web site Talking Points Memo and confirmed by an Obama campaign aide, the Illinois senator plans to make stops in New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado next week.
Specifically, Obama will make stops in Las Cruces, New Mexico Monday, the Las Vegas area on Tuesday, and the Denver area on Wednesday.
All three states lean Republican but have increasingly been up for grabs in recent presidential elections. In 2004, President Bush beat John Kerry by 1 percentage point in New Mexico, by 5 points in Colorado, and by 3 points in Nevada.
The Obama campaign has argued that his appeal to independent and moderate voters will play well with voters in these key Western states.