‘Truly purple’ Arizona – Biden country?

Every four years, Democrats repeat the same Charlie Brown and the football cycle in Arizona./Pinterest

By David Byler | The Washington Post

Every four years, Democrats repeat the same Charlie Brown and the football cycle in Arizona. They deploy volunteers, run ads, send in top surrogates, wax poetic about the state’s changing demographics and even make last-minute campaign stops there. But on election night, the voters always pick the GOP, leaving Democrats dazed and disappointed.  

But this time might be different, writes David Byler of The Washington Post.

According to the RealClearPolitics average, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Trump by roughly 4.4 points in Arizona. That’s only a point worse than Biden’s national polling lead of 5.8 points, which suggests Arizona has gone from light red to truly purple. 

Biden can take some credit for Arizona’s leftward shift. The Upshot’s Nate Cohn recently noted that Biden performs well with voters above 65 years old, which is a boon in an older state such as Arizona. And so far, Biden has endeavored to win over swing voters and moderates — a strategy that is helping him gain votes across the map.   

The Post’s Byler says some of the pieces were in place long before Biden became the presumptive nominee. The state’s mostly Democratic Hispanic population has been growing for decades, and Arizona is, contrary to its cowboy reputation, a highly urbanized state. As the Democratic Party grows more suburban, it’ll probably become more popular in metro areas such as Phoenix and Tucson.  

It’s foolish to predict the result of the 2020 election — much less of any one state — this far out, and the added chaos of a global pandemic makes predictions even tougher. But if Democrats can finally win Arizona, it would be a huge deal. In the short term, it would take pressure off the Biden campaign, as every electoral vote Biden gets from Arizona, Florida, North Carolina or Nevada is a vote he doesn’t have to squeeze out of the hotly contested Midwest. And in the long term, a win in Arizona could signal a different kind of Democratic Party: one that’s less reliant on blue-collar, white voters, is more suburban and technocratic and, paradoxically, looks a lot less like Biden.

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April 2020