Campaigns move into rivals' home turf
Barack Obama launched ads for his campaign in New York this week, contesting Hillary Rodham Clinton in her home state.
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McCain's most prominent supporter in Massachusetts is former acting Gov. Jane Swift, whose 2002 campaign was knocked aside when Romney announced his run for governor. Among his other endorsers are a few leaders of the state's struggling GOP, who accuse Romney of being so preoccupied with his presidential bid in his final years as governor that he neglected to nurture the local party.Skip to next paragraph
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But with Romney far ahead in the polls, McCain isn't spending lavishly in Massachusetts. Supporters who wanted signs and stickers were reduced to scavenging in neighboring New Hampshire.
"Some volunteers from Massachusetts took a ride up and collected signs from polling places" after the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8, says Brent Andersen, treasurer of the Massachusetts Republican Party and a vice chairman of McCain's campaign there. "This being Massachusetts, where Romney is from, the McCain campaign is not going crazy on resources here."
Still, Massachusetts is one of the few states without a winner-takes-all Republican primary, and McCain supporters are gunning for delegates.
Arizona, by contrast, gives all its GOP delegates to the victor. Opinion polls leave little doubt that McCain, a senator there for more than two decades and now the GOP front-runner for president, is sitting pretty.
Still, some 6 percent of Arizonans share Romney's Mormon faith, and conservatives there have groused about McCain's immigration positions and votes against Bush tax cuts. As of Sept. 30, Romney had raised $1.1 million in Arizona, about half McCain's haul there, according to The Center for Responsive Politics.
"Huckabee's got Chuck Norris out there, and McCain's bragging about Rambo's endorsement," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has feuded with McCain for years, partly over immigration policy, told donors Saturday at a fundraiser in Mesa, Ariz. "Well, Mitt Romney has the real crime fighter on his team."
Arpaio, an honorary co-chair of Romney's Arizona campaign, is a tough-talking lawman famous for making his inmates wear pink underwear. He also happens to be a Massachusetts native.
Even if victory is out of reach, "we want to give John McCain a run for his money," says Ryan Anderson, deputy political director for Romney in Arizona. "A strong showing in Arizona sends a strong message nationally."
Clinton and Obama in New York
New York was once seen as impenetrable. Clinton was reelected in 2006 with more than two-thirds of the vote. Her campaign boasts at least 20,000 volunteers and 35 offices statewide and is backed by much of the political establishment, including Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.