Heavy growth in Republican areas could aid GOP in redistricting

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Arizona’s population growth over the past decade was largely in Maricopa County and was especially concentrated in predominantly Republican suburban areas, a trend that could favor Republicans as the state prepares to redraw its legislative and congressional districts.

According to the 2020 census, Arizona’s population grew by about 760,000 people, an increase of 11.9%. Of those new residents, more than 600,000 were in Maricopa County, while nearly 50,000 were in Pinal County, primarily in Phoenix metro area’s suburbs and exurbs. 

The most explosive population growth in the state was in the far ends of the East and West Valley, both of which have historically been reliably Republican areas. Phoenix, a Democratic stronghold over the past decade, gained 162,000 residents in the census. Much of that growth was in the northern, predominantly GOP areas of the city.

Democrats, Arizona’s minority party for decades, have made noteworthy gains in recent years, including in the legislative and congressional districts drawn by the last Independent Redistricting Commission in 2011. Five of the state’s nine congressional districts are represented by Democrats. And though Republicans still control both legislative chambers, they hold only one-vote majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, their smallest majorities since the GOP took control from the Democrats in the 1966 election.

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