Election 2018 Preview: Questions, questions

Illustration by Greg Kearney

By Fernanda Santos | Phoenix Magazine

Last year’s election cycle was one many Arizonans would just as soon forget. Hours-long waits at the polls, wrong dates on Spanish-language voter cards, and voters whose names were missing from the rolls or who found themselves registered to political parties they didn’t support gave the state’s already bruised reputation another black eye. It didn’t help that Russian hackers targeted the state’s voter registration system, fueling questions about the sanctity of the electoral process just as the nation’s eyes were trained on Arizona, which had emerged as a battleground state.

Conversely, forgetting this year’s cycle will be a snap. The only measure of excitement – and, trust me, characterizing it that way still feels like a stretch – came from a sole primary race in Phoenix, where City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, an outspoken conservative, squeaked past his challenger, Kevin Patterson, to win re-election for District 6.

So we turn our eyes to 2018, where we find a full cupboard of talking points 10 months ahead of the primaries – an eternity in politics. We talked to pollsters, campaign consultants and political operatives; read Jeff Flake’s book and President Trump’s tweets; and played match after match of political dominoes to flesh out a trail of possibilities that runs from the Phoenix mayor’s office all the way to the United States Senate. By this time next year, the following five burning questions will have been answered.

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