Arizona Democrats won’t win simply by opposing Trump. They also need to do this

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is the Democrat’s hope to capture the governorship.|| Twitter Photo/@katiehobbs

Opinion: Recent public opinion polls show that abortion, guns and threats to democracy are on the ballot. Can Arizona Democrats leverage that energy for a win?

By Greg Moore || Arizona Republic

Arizona Democrats need to make a lot of noise if they want to “stay woke” because #NeverTrump #NeverWorks.

There are proxy fights up and down the ballot with Trumpublicans in every race from U.S. Senate and governor to secretary of state and schools superintendent.   

With two months to go before the November ballot, Democrats Mark Kelly, Katie Hobbs, Adrian Fontes and Kathy Hoffman would do well to apply lessons from recent election cycles: Candidates lose if they oppose the Donald without a loud and clear message of their own. 

Trump channeled anger in 2016, Biden in 2020

Consider 2016, when there was a crowded Republican presidential field.

Trump whipped up his base with fear and protectionism. He harnessed the tea party, “don’t tread on me,” the Second Amendment and border security.

Trump crystalized the culture war anger that bubbled among a segment of conservative voters into easy-to-understand marketing slogans: “Make America Great Again”; “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best;” and “I will build a great, great wall … and Mexico is going to pay for that wall.”

Sensing a bellwether they wouldn’t be able to un-ring, the Republican establishment tried to come together with a #NeverTrump movement, but ask Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Scott Walker and even would-be kingmakers like Paul Ryan how it played.

Liberals had the energy in 2020 behind police reform and the pandemic.

The Black Lives Matter wave gained size with an ill-advised Trump broadside at activist quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then it crashed ashore during the Summer of Protest after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others at the hands of police.

Voters in this bloc were also being ravaged by COVID-19, as they were more likely to live in multigenerational households, use public transportation or to be classified as essential workers who couldn’t do their jobs remotely.

They turned out in droves to back Joe Biden and liberal candidates who supported commonsense police reform and an aggressive vaccination plan.

The side with the most enthusiasm wins.


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September 2022