McCain May Target Upper Midwest And Hispanic Voters For Fall

While the Democrats fight among themselves over their presidential nomination, strategists for presumptive Republican nominee John McCain are analyzing the electoral map to determine where to put their resources for the remainder of the year.

McCain insiders say several important big states should be in play, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, partly because of McCain's special appeal to independents.

McCain strategists also argue that the Arizona senator can battle effectively for Hispanic votes in a number of states, since he has opposed draconian measures to deal with illegal workers and he has advocated a "path to citizenship" for such workers--two popular positions among Latinos.

This could help McCain contest several states that usually go Democratic, including California, and may blunt Democratic surges in Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. These analyses have convinced McCain insiders that he has more of a chance to win than his Democratic critics believe.

By Kenneth T. Walsh