From the NY Times:
The number of independent voters in Arizona has risen 12 percent since 2004, and those voters have helped send a Democrat to the governor’s mansion and given the party four of the state’s eight Congressional seats — including two in 2006, one in a historically Republican district.
At the same time, Arizona Democrats, like many of their counterparts around the country, have outpaced Republicans in voter registration, adding almost 20,000 voters to the rolls since March, compared with the Republican majority’s 8,600 new voters. The second-term Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano, remains wildly popular.
Last month, the McCain campaign startlingly added Arizona to its list of 24 “battleground states,” a fact that state Democrats have clung to like sprinkles on a soft-serve ice cream cone ...
What is more, the state’s Republican Party is more or less in disarray, split between its moderate and staunchly conservative factions. Its chairman, who cheerfully attended a Ron Paul campaign event here just two months ago, has been a thorn in Mr. McCain’s political side for years. On Super Tuesday, Mr. McCain captured 47 percent of his party’s voters, hardly the resounding victory that a candidate who has represented his state for over 25 years might expect.
The Democratic ambitions may be largely bluster. Neither Mr. McCain nor Senator Barack Obama, his presumed rival this fall, appears to be spending money in the state. There are no advertisements, and the Obama campaign has no paid staff here.