We have a new proving ground in the independent-minded West, with states like New Mexico, where the presidential election was decided by less than 6,000 votes in 2004 and by a mere 366 votes in 2000, and Colorado, a state so intensely contested between President Obama and Senator McCain in 2008. The West has always been a region of fierce independence and a willingness to buck traditions. The challenges we face today require that spirit and creativity.
Any new winning coalition must include America's growing Hispanic population, which makes up over 20 percent of the population in six states from this Western bloc, as well as Florida. The Hispanic community has much in common with what I call conservative values, from an emphasis on family values to issues of law enforcement and education. I have seen this in my own home state of California.
Now is the time to win back the hearts and minds of all Americans and embrace the founding principles of this great nation. With so much at stake, this is an endeavor that will require all of our participation; no one group can do it alone. This undertaking will also require practical solutions and the leadership of young Americans, whose future is ever more on the line. We must build coalitions that honor our shared traditions and principles, or we will jeopardize our future. It's time to come together.
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