Salon interviewed Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman, Felicia Rotellini, and Republican strategist, Paul Bentz, about how Arizona is becoming a Blue State and how Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R. AZ) have helped push the state into blue territory:
“Both chambers are on the precipice of turning blue for the first time in 50 years,” she said. “We need three seats in the Senate and two in the House to gain control. We are fighting for each and every seat and the path to achieving these majorities is clear.”
The fate of the state legislature is likely tied to the fortunes of Trump and McSally in the federal races. Recent polls of Arizona have been fairly split between Biden and Trump but have consistently shown McSally trailing Kelly, often by significant margins.
“I definitely think they are both in for an incredibly difficult race,” Bentz said. Republicans lost their longtime voter participation advantage in 2018 and Democrats have “caught up with Republicans in the state,” he said.
The pandemic has worsened the situation for the party.
And as the New York Times points out, women in Arizona are abandoning the GOP in Arizona:
The party’s rightward lurch in the Trump era has left a growing number of Republicans in the state disenchanted and caused Arizona, a longtime G.O.P. stronghold, to suddenly resemble a battleground.
That’s in large part because of women: In 2018, 16 percent of Republican women broke with their party to help make Kyrsten Sinema the state’s first Democratic senator since 1995. Most strategists in the state believe President Trump’s chances there in November hinge on bringing such voters back into the fold.
And if the tenor of the Republican National Convention is any indication — speeches about protecting “quiet neighborhoods” on Monday; attempts to appeal to suburban women and mothers on Tuesday; a lineup of prominent G.O.P. women including Kellyanne Conway, Karen Pence and Joni Ernst on Wednesday — Mr. Trump is beginning to agree.
Let’s keep up the momentum to flip Arizona Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Kelly, Biden and their fellow Arizona Democrats campaigns: