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Navajo vote seen as key in New Mexico, Arizona

Boasting the largest membership in the country, the Navajo Nation has been targeted by Democrats and Republicans this election season.

Navajos make up sizable parts of the population in New Mexico and Arizona, two battleground states. Tribal leaders have endorsed Democrat Sen. John Kerry for president and both the Republican and Democrat candidates for U.S. House.

Rep. Rick Renzi (R) and Democrat rival Paul Babbitt have courted the Navajo vote during the campaign. Renzi has more tribal support and is leading in the polls by wide margins.

Republicans have had less success with the tribal population at large. The New Mexico GOP held a rally in Shiprock, New Mexico, on Saturday with Sen. Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico), who has called Navajo leaders "out of touch" for endorsing Kerry, and the retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado).

The tribe has designated November 2 as a holiday to encourage voting. The tribal election also takes place on Tuesday.

Get the Story:
Navajos could be swing factor in Ariz., N.M. (The Arizona Daily Sun 10/31)
Taking the pulse of CD1 (The Arizona Daily Sun 10/31)
Republicans rally in Democrat stronghold (The Farmington Daily Times 10/31)
Navajo Nation gives employees Election Day off (The Arizona Daily Sun 10/31)

Related Stories:
Domenici tells Navajo Nation president to 'wake up' (10/28)
Bush, Kerry campaigns spar in New Mexico (10/27)
New Mexico Democrats hold rally on Navajo Nation (10/27)
Most New Mexico tribes back Kerry-Edwards (10/26)
Domenici: Navajos 'out of touch' for Dem support (10/25)
Navajos see hope in a Kerry administration (10/25)
House rivals both win backing of Navajo council (10/21)
Navajo Nation council nearly endorses Renzi rival (10/20)
Navajo Nation council endorses Kerry for president (10/20)
Renzi wins endorsement of Navajo Nation Council (10/19)
Ron Allen, Wilma Mankiller: Bush too little, too late (10/15)
Navajo council asked to choose Renzi over Babbitt (09/14)
Kerry to focus on Indian issues during Southwest trip (8/5)
Navajo Nation voters chose Kerry in Ariz. primary (2/12)
Navajo president attends Kerry rally in N.M. (2/3)
Kennedy meets with tribal leaders to promote Kerry (2/2)
Democrats turn to states with key Indian votes (1/28)
Democrat presidential hopefuls eye Indian voters (11/18)