FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2012, file photo, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. A political generation ago, the West signaled the nation's rightward swing -- from the emergence of Ronald Reagan to the success of tax limitation ballot measures in California and Colorado. But now the fabled expanse of jagged peaks, arid deserts and emerald coastlines is trending in a different direction. From Washington state -- where voters in November legalized marijuana and upheld the legality of gay marriage -- to New Mexico, once a hotly-contested swing state that Republicans ceded to Democrats in the presidential campaign, the west has become solidly Democratic terrain. The coastal base states of Washington, Oregon and California continue to move further to left, while the hotly-contested swing states east of the Sierra Nevada are trending more and more toward the Democrats. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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