The Golden State is the Grand Prize

The biggest electoral prize on the map looms as a tempting and glittering target for John McCain -- but this is one star he's not likely to seriously chase.

(ABC News Photo Illustration)

California's politics are as diverse as its demographics, with Hollywood and Haight-Ashbury, in addition to huge tracts of farmland, large rural stretches, and a giant immigrant community.

McCain -- hoping to build on the electoral success of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif. -- has made a handful of campaign stops in the Golden State, and aides claim publicly that the state could be competitive.

But at the national level, California is consistently Democratic. The state is too expensive for campaign head-fakes; indeed, McCain's stops have been mostly to shake the money tree, not to shake free votes.

Yet as the single largest cache of electoral votes, and home to the nation's most diverse economy, California can never be ignored. Check back for more ABC coverage from the Golden State, and see whether McCain is serious about making a play there.

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