PHOENIX–Sen. John McCain’s big struggle to energize a suspicious conservative Republican base and attract crucial independent voters is a national fight that encompasses his home state of Arizona. Despite representing the state in Congress for 26 years, McCain is now confronting a resurgent state Democratic Party and a burgeoning number of unpredictable independent voters.
While Arizona Republicans are bogged down with nasty infighting and a slumping number of registered voters, Arizona Democrats are gaining voters daily. Powered by Sen. Barack Obama’s voter registration drive, Democratic voter registration is up 2.8 percent in the last year and Democrats are poised to gain control of a majority of the state’s House congressional delegation for the first time in decades.