In a horrific display of the significance of down-ballot elections, the two states that lead the world (not just the nation) in coronavirus cases are both currently under complete Republican control: Arizona and Florida. In both states, the GOP controls both Houses of the state legislature and occupies the governor’s mansion. Yet the Democrats have a real shot at breaking the monopoly for both states: The Florida state Senate can flip with just four wins, and in Arizona, both Houses will flip with five wins (two in the lower chamber, three in the upper chamber). The Republican Party knows this, and they are going all in to save their majority—even if it means dirty tricks.
In Arizona, Republicans have controlled the statehouse for 50 years. However, the Blue Wave of 2018 knocked out four seats, and they are now hanging onto their majority by a thread. If they lose just one seat in November, the statehouse splits. If they lose two, the Democrats take over! Democrats are also poised to seize control of the state Senate as well; by 2022, when Doug Ducey runs for reelection as the most unpopular governor in the nation, the Democrats might actually turn Arizona into a blue trifecta after one cycle! I can’t stress how quickly this monumental shift has occurred, but with an increasing Latino population and the Democrats winning over suburbanites (while Republicans send them running), it’s no longer a question of “if.” It’s a matter of “when” Arizona will go blue.