Arizona Divided

Photo by Courtesy of Robert Huffstutter

Arizona has been a republican state, or red state, since 1952! For Arizona, this excludes Democrats Bill Clinton and newly elected Joe Biden. The political website 270towin.com provides multiple visuals for this, 

 

More importantly, the popular vote is what defines the state’s standing. The popular vote is all of Arizona’s population votes counted. The electoral college for Arizona has 11 representatives (Biden won Arizona’s electoral college votes). Also, is not that the popular votes do not matter, it is meant to guide the electoral college’s votes.

When looking at Arizona’s popular votes, it is almost split 50/50 between Biden and Trump. As of November 13th 2020 the numbers are: Biden: 1,668,684 votes Trump: 1,657,250 votes. In 2016, Trump vs Hilary, the votes were close but they were not as close as they are for 2020. In 2016, Trump got 1,252,401 popular votes and Hilary got 1,161,167 popular votes.

So what changed in Arizona? Republicans argue that Arizona is not a blue state and that they elected Joe Biden because they did not believe in what Donald Trump was standing for. Basically saying, just because republicans voted blue this election does not mean they will vote blue next election.Whether or not this is true or not, in 2024 those results will show. 

AZCentral.com, a news publication, has a specific article that backs this up. The article is called, ‘Arizona didn’t turn blue. We were just blue in the face, temporarily’ written by EJ Montini. The main idea of the opinion piece is that Arizona Republicans did not stand with Trump’s ideologies. 

“A lot of old school Republicans decided that the president’s brand of politics wasn’t what they believed in. A lot of them are McCain Republicans…they turned true blue, as in American patriots,” Montini wrote. “Evidence of that came in the campaign ad for Joe Biden that was done by Cindy McCain. Republicans like her decided Trump didn’t represent the values and principles they’ve held all their lives.” 

The Washington Post disputes the idea that Arizona is just a red state. In the article, ‘Arizona’s political transformation began long before Biden was on the ballot’.

“He [Biden] garnered around 1 out of every 10 votes cast by a Republican…The key to the shift was Latina voters,” The Washington Post wrote. “Biden’s strength with Latino voters in Arizona stands in contrast to results in Florida and Texas, two states where stronger-than-expected support for Trump among Latinos helped propel the president to victory, exit polls show.” 

One similar idea stood out in both opposing democratic and republican articles; Trump messed up by disrespecting the deceased John McCain. McCain was beloved and highly respected, by both democrats and republicans, and was the republican Arizona senator. 

“Many in Arizona have recoiled in recent years at Trump’s attacks on Sen. John McCain (R), which some political experts in the state say played at least some role in the state slipping away from the president,” Washington Post said. “During his first campaign in 2015, Trump made disparaging comments about McCain’s military record and mocked him for becoming a prisoner of war.” 

If that could not make matters even worse Trump continues even after McCain passes away, “Even after McCain’s death in August 2018, Trump continued to make negative remarks about McCain and his career as a public servant.” Washington Post said.

This year, Arizona ended up getting many new registered voters and breaking voting records. Phoenix Business Journal provides the stats on their site, “There are 4.28 million registered voters in Arizona this year, according to the secretary of state’s office, 692,686 more than in 2016.” 

What new voters are taking the lead? Simple, Latino voters. A lot of Latinos in various states like Arizona, California, Texas, and so on are displeased with the direction America’s nation is going. Back in 2016, there were fewer Latino voters than there are now. A big surge of Latino voters made it to the voting polls this year. 

According to the Pew Research Center, “An estimated 56% of Latino eligible voters live in states that have a Democratic primary or caucus…up from 29% in 2016, according to an analysis of 2018 and 2016 American Community Survey data.” 

More specifically in Arizona, “Latinos are one of the fastest-growing groups in Arizona,” Pew Research Center wrote. “and makeup nearly 30% of the state’s population.”

Arizona as a whole seems to be more of a swing state. Arizona had been so heavy in Republican presence in the past. Yet, now seems to be split in half. A divided state.