‘Blue mirage:’ Why Democrats’ leads slipped, bolstering GOP hopes

By Fernanda Galan Martinez || Cronkite News

Arizona politics took on a blue hue Tuesday night, but as the sun rose Wednesday, tallies were looking more red instead.

Democrats in statewide races jumped to hefty leads in initial vote counts on election night. But their margins narrowed sharply over the next 24 hours, putting them once again in nail-biting territory by Wednesday evening.

For Republicans who feared Arizona’s projected red wave was faltering, hope sprang anew with many races still too close to call.

Bill Scheel, an Arizona political consultant, forecast that final results wouldn’t arrive until Thursday or Friday – or even next week in the governor’s contest and some other key races.

“In Arizona, we definitely saw a blue mirage last night with (gubernatorial candidate) Katie Hobbs and a lot of Democrats way out in front. We saw that disappear to a large extent overnight,” Scheel said.

As it has done so many times, Arizona bucked what happened elsewhere in the nation. Although some major news outlets and pundits had predicted a red wave across the country of dissatisfied voters voting Republican amid high inflation, it turned out to be only a ripple. That left Republicans clinging to the hope Arizona could help salvage their election hopes.

Not yet.

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