Mitt Romney and Barack Obama Dead Even in Arizona, New Poll Shows

A new survey of Arizona voters by Public Policy Polling shows that President Barack Obama stands an even chance of turning Arizona blue in November.

The poll shows Obama surging in our redder than red state, tying Republican Mitt Romney at 47 percent. Against GOPer Rick Santorum he does one point worse, pulling 46 percent to Santorum's 47. 

Obama bests the other contenders for the GOP nod, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, each by 4 percent. The president's approval rate is also up a few notches to 46 percent.

These numbers should help bolster the talk that the Obama campaign is committed to flipping the state in November. The Arizona Republic reported that Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina was in town last week, telling phone bankers, "We can win in Arizona."

Part of the plan is an outreach to Hispanic voters, registering them to vote and getting them to the polls. There are various Latino groups in the state currently doing this.

Latinos are one-third of the population in Arizona, and according to a recent New York Times report on this subject, they constitute "19 percent of Arizona residents of voting age."

Which is likely why Obama personally recruited former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who is of Puerto Rican descent, to run as a Democrat in the U.S. Senate race to replace outgoing Republican Senator Jon Kyl. 

But aside from the Latino factor, the GOP candidates vying to take on Obama are hardly setting the electorate on fire. Santorum's recent surge, for instance, tickles Democrats no end. They would love to run against a culture-warrior like the Pennsylvania sweater-boy.

I'm no huge fan of Obama, and I have my problems with the Dems, but if the Obama-ites do fully commit to Arizona and spend money here, it will positively effect other races. 

And if the GOP's supermajority in the state Legislature is removed, even if Republicans retain control of both houses, it will mean a more moderate political tone for this state. For that reason alone, let's hope Sand Land gets painted the color of a Carolina sky.

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