Sat. May 18th, 2024

The biggest fights of the 2024 election are all converging in Arizona

By 37ci3 Apr11,2024


Tuesday Arizona Supreme Court decision The 160-year-old support for an almost complete ban on abortion shocked the state and cemented his place at the center of politics in 2024.

It will be critical in the race between Arizona and its 11 electoral votes President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Voters will decide critical races for the Senate and House, with both chambers closely divided. The state seems ready to put an abortion measure on the November ballotputting a stark policy choice directly before voters.

All this will take place against the background of still heated election procedures and years of fights over immigration. And the state’s rapidly changing demographics highlight many of the key trends affecting US politics.

Arizona has the largest Latino population share of any major battleground state, According to the Census Bureau; the nation’s biggest battleground is Maricopa County, a former Republican stronghold In 2020, more than 2 million people voted and Biden narrowly won; increasingly, rural districts affiliated to MAGA are competing in the other direction; and It is the largest university in the country Arizona State University is accepted in person.

In short, Arizona will show how different groups grapple with the most pressing issues in the election, and it could determine the balance of power in Washington next year and beyond. The presidential campaign there is decided by just 10,000 votes in 2020, and the Biden and Trump campaigns have already looked at the state: Vice President Kamala Harris announced her visit to Arizona on Friday after the state Supreme Court’s abortion ruling.

“You understand how important this majority is in the US Senate, right?” Kari Lake, a Republican, asked a crowd at a rally in Cave Creek last month. “We want President Trump to come out on top on January 25th,” he continued, casting his campaign as a potential tipper.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump in 2022 in Mesa, Arizona.Mario Tama/Getty Images file

In a fundraising email Tuesday afternoon, Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego laid out the stakes for the Senate race just as clearly. “If Reuben wins Arizona, we’ll be that much closer to taking the Senate.” “We need oversight in the Senate to stop the attempt at a national abortion ban,” the letter reads.

Campaigns

There’s already a heated race to replace retiring independent Sen. Kyrsten Sineman — Gallego is a “swamp rat,” Lake says; he’s “heartless,” Gallego responds — coming after three straight Democratic Senate victories in Arizona. Fourth, it will highlight how much the state and the Republican Party have changed since Arizona sent the likes of Senator Barry Goldwater and John McCain to Washington.

The outcome of the Arizona race will have far-reaching repercussions beyond the Southwest, with Democrats holding slim Senate majorities and playing defense in states such as Ohio, West Virginia and Montana, which Trump won overwhelmingly in 2020.

Arizona also has the potential to shift the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Democrats need a net gain of just four seats to take control of the House, and Republicans representing the seats Biden carried in 2020 at the top of their target list. Two of those Republicans are from Arizona: David Schweikert, whose 1st District includes Phoenix suburbs like Scottsdale, and Juan Ciscomani, who represents the 6th District around Tucson in the southeast corner of the state.

Democrats have targeted Schweikert in the past, deeming him vulnerable after his admission. multiple ethical violations for misusing campaign funds. After redistricting in 2022, Schweikert won a seventh term by just 1 percentage point; According to estimates, Biden won the district by almost 2 points in 2020 Daily Kos Elections.

Sensing an opportunity, multiple Democrats are vying to challenge Schweikert in November, and his opponent will not be known until the July 30 primary. Five Democrats have raised more than $800,000 so far, including former state party chairman Andrei Cherny, state Rep. Amish Shah and former TV news anchor Marlene Galan-Woods. Two other candidates, orthodontist Andrew Horne and investment banker Conor O’Callaghan, largely self-funded their campaigns.

Ciscomani, a top aide to former GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, won by nearly 2 points in his first term in 2022. He could face a rematch with former state Sen. Kirsten Engel, who is running again in a closely divided district. Biden passed in 2020 by a tenth of a percentage point.

Both Schweikert and Ciscomani He condemned the state Supreme Court’s decision on abortion on Tuesdaybut Democrats were quick to highlight their past support for state abortion measures and their past votes on the issue.

Republicans are also trying to hold state legislative majorities that couldn’t be thinner: a 31-29 advantage in the House and a 16-14 seat advantage in the Senate.

issues

Each of these candidates is likely to share the Arizona ballot this fall with a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a “fundamental right” to receive abortion care until fetal viability, or about the 24th week of pregnancy, after which health care if the situation is bad. the care professional decides it is necessary to “preserve the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant person”. The ballot measure could lead to an influx of otherwise unaffiliated young voters to the polls after the state Supreme Court upheld one of the strictest bans in the nation right now.

Their biggest source may be the tens of thousands of students at Arizona State University in Tempe. The Biden campaign has already begun engaging with youth voting groups on the ground, with second-in-command Doug Emhoff speaking by phone this week with Keep Arizona Blue, a student coalition focused on voter turnout.

It may not be on the ballot the same way abortion is, but because Arizona shares the most border region with Mexico of any state except Texas, immigration is not an abstract issue for state voters. A recent NBC News poll The candidate found Trump with a big lead over Biden when it came to whether voters believed he was better suited to control immigration, which could lower the ballot for Republicans. But Arizona’s rapidly changing demographics may also play a role.

If Trump draws closer to Latino voters this year than he did in 2020, Arizona may be the battleground state that will feel it the most. The The NALEO Education Fund is projected In 2024, nearly a quarter of Arizona voters will be Latino.

As the population changes, so do voting patterns. Maricopa County, which takes in metro Phoenix and includes about 60% of the state’s voters, supported McCain and Mitt Romney by double digits in their presidential bids over Barack Obama. In 2016, Trump won the state by just 3.4 points, and he lost the key county to Biden in 2020, bleeding support four years later.

Arizona has also been, and will continue to be, a hotbed for the election denial issue for the past four years. contains many of the same sounds prominently.

These include Lake, who created it support From Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen a central part his failed Running for governor in 2022 — as well as 2022 GOP attorney general nominee Abraham Hamadeh, who is running for U.S. House, and Republican Secretary of State Mark Finchem, who is running for state Senate in 2022.

Although Lake largely avoided focusing on election denials in his Senate campaign (instead pushes for the importance of “fair elections”), Hamadeh, who focused much of the failed attorney general race false claims About the 2020 elections is kept is in focus problem this year. (He also repeated false claims about his narrow loss to state Attorney General Chris Mayes in 2022.)

That campaign – it was decided by only 280 votes — highlights the hyper-competitive landscape that will once again host multiple majors this year.

And it underscores the vast policy differences and outcomes at stake in the campaigns. Just this week, Mayes vowed not to enforce an abortion ban upheld by the state Supreme Court — a position she has taken. Continued in 2022 in Hamada opposed.





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