Can Arizona save the nation?

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)

By Helaine Olen | The Washington Post

A few hours before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was announced, I was sitting in the central Phoenix location of Salvadoreño. Owner Yesenia Ramirez and her son arrived in the Phoenix area from Southern California in 2006, joining her parents who had made the move a decade earlier. Ramirez, who came to the United States from El Salvador as a child, thought little about politics when she first relocated to Arizona. “I didn’t even realize it was a Republican state,” she told me. But she slowly became engaged, thanks to two controversies: the scandals of former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio and the passage of the anti-immigrant SB 1070, which allowed law enforcement to ask people for their immigration paperwork if they suspected they were undocumented.

Now? Ramirez is so supportive of Joe Biden, she took part in a small business roundtable Friday designed to promote his campaign. “One of the biggest things I’ve noticed about the Trump campaign is that it comes at a cost,” Ramirez said. “They rave about wanting to be conservative and family comes first, but which family? It’s not my color family that’s coming first. It’s not my gay friend’s family.”

It’s voters like Ramirez who are turning once solidly Republican Arizona into a presidential swing state. 


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September 2020