Michelle Obama in Arizona: Could it swing to Democrats?
Michelle Obama campaigned for her husband in Arizona and Colorado Monday. Mrs. Obama will be in Nevada and New Mexico Tuesday.
First lady Michelle Obama was in Tucson on Monday as part of a four-state campaign push in the West — a visit that has political analysts saying that Arizona could very well be up for grabs in November's presidential election.Skip to next paragraph
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Speaking to about 450 people at a fundraiser for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign in Arizona, Mrs. Obama said the campaign will be a long, hard road with twists and turns, and she urged the crowd to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
"Are you in?" she said. "I know so well what the stakes are. ... We need you every step of the way."
Mrs. Obama landed in the southern Arizona city Monday evening after stopping in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she helped open the 2012 Warrior Games, a six-day sports competition for wounded soldiers and veterans. Mrs. Obama told the athletes that they are an inspiration for all Americans.
"Every competitor here has faced adversity that most of us can never imagine," she said. "No matter how seriously you are injured, no matter what obstacles or setbacks you face, you just keep moving forward.
"You just keep pushing yourselves to succeed in ways that just mystify and leave us all in awe," she said.
After arriving in Tucson, the first lady hugged and spoke at the airport with Tucson children and teens who volunteer at a local urban farm before leaving for the fundraiser.
Mrs. Obama said that the election will be about the country asking, "Who are we?"
"The choice we make will determine nothing less than who we are as a country, but more importantly, who we want to be," she said. "Will we be a country where opportunity is limited to just a few at the top? Or will we be a place where if you work hard, you can get ahead no matter who you are or how you started out."
"All the indicators are that Arizona's in play," said Jim Haynes, president of the nonpartisan, Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center, which conducts election polls.
"The voters are obviously restless and wrestling with what they're going to do in November," Haynes said. "There's still a lot of question marks in their minds. And as things unfold positively and negatively on behalf of each one of them, I think people are going to bounce back and forth."
A recent poll by the Behavior Research Center showed that 42 percent of the 511 registered voters contacted across the state supported Obama, 40 percent supported Romney and that 18 percent were unsure. Because the poll, which was conducted April 9-17, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, Obama and Romney are considered about even among Arizona voters.
In terms of fundraising, Romney has been more successful, raising $1.7 million in the state through March 31, compared with Obama's $1.1 million.
Haynes said that although Arizona doesn't carry the electoral punch like California, Florida and other states, it is highly coveted by both parties for its national reputation as a Republican stronghold and as ground zero for the immigration debate.
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