This election year, the most crucial battleground states may fall far west of the Mississippi. Strategists say New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado are pivotal to Senator McCain's success, so how are these voters being courted? NOW on PBS travels to New Mexico to see how both campaigns are hoping to attract -- and secure -- first time voters on college campuses, as well as voters in New Mexico's large Hispanic population. It's clearly anyone's game -- this southwestern state was won by fewer than 400 votes in 2000, and 6,000 votes in 2004.
NOW sits down with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a supporter of Barack Obama and former 2008 presidential contender himself, who affirms the political importance of the "New West." "Had Kerry won those states [in 2004]," Richardson tells Maria Hinojosa, "even having lost Ohio, he'd be President." Will the New West play a key role in determining the fate of the country?