[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/05/art.obamamc.gi.jpg caption="Both the Obama and McCain campaigns see Virginia as a battleground."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee e-mailed a memo to national reporters Monday outlining why the state of Virginia and its 13 electoral votes could fall into Democratic hands in November, a sign that both the party and the campaign of Barack Obama genuinely believe they can turn the state blue for the first time since 1964.
The memo, written by the Democratic Party of Virginia, comes on the same day John McCain holds a series of fundraisers in central and northern Virginia, and a week after Obama chose the state to kick off his general election campaign.
"John McCain travels to northern Virginia today, a region of the state where the population growth and shift in voting trends have changed the landscape statewide in favor of Democrats in recent years, putting the Commonwealth into play for the presidential election," the memo argues.
"The nation's eyes will be on Virginia this election season as the Commonwealth sits poised to support a Democrat for President for the first time in 44 years," it reads.
The note suggests that Obama will rely heavily on riding the coattails of three of Virginia’s popular Democratic leaders: Gov. Tim Kaine, Sen. Jim Webb and senate candidate Mark Warner, the former governor.
Citing "the Mark Warner effect" - Warner will be on the same ballot as Obama this fall - the memo asserts that Obama can win the state in the same way Warner won the governorship in 2001: by running up margins in "vote-rich, Democratic leaning northern Virginia" while also employing a "successful rural strategy." Warner ran that campaign as a business-minded moderate willing to work across party lines.
Virginia Democrats are confident that the national political climate is much more favorable to their party in 2008, a trend that could morph traditionally Republican counties in the central part of the state into new electoral battlegrounds.
The memo argues that McCain has serious deficiencies among Virginia evangelicals, a constituency he lost to Mike Huckabee in the state’s Feb. 12 primary. Independents also chose Obama over McCain in the primary.
UPDATE: Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, responded to the memo and said Obama is out of touch with Virginia voters.
"Virginians are not going to vote for a candidate who wants to raise their taxes and negotiate without preconditions with America’s enemies," Conant said. "The more voters learn about Barack Obama’s poor judgment on everything from guns to taxes, the more clearly he is wrong for Virginia."