Oct 4, 2011 7:38 PM by Gene Cotton
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Democratic strategists say rapid population growth in the West means Colorado, Montana, Nevada and New Mexico will be major battleground states during the 2012 elections.
Democrats are heading to Las Vegas this month to host a conference on how to appeal to the new voters who are driving the West's changing demographics.
The West is heavy with Hispanic and independents voters, two prize demographics for Republicans and Democrats. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will open the
two-day Project New West conference Oct. 16 in Las Vegas.
The event precedes a GOP presidential debate and a similar conference for Republicans being held in Las Vegas that week.
Census data shows Nevada was the fastest-growing state in the nation during the last decade, followed by Arizona and Utah.