DENVER (AP) — 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.

Now, however, the fabled expanse of deserts, jagged peaks, and emerald coastlines is trending in a different direction.

The West has become largely Democratic terrain.

Voters in Washington state in November legalized marijuana and upheld the legality of gay marriage. New Mexico was once a tightly contested state, but Republicans ceded it to Democrats in the presidential campaign.

For more on the West's leftward swing see the print and e-editions of Sunday’s Herald and News. Click here for subscription information.