• Krithika Bharadwaj

The State of Arizona in the 2020 Presidential Election

The 2020 presidential election is steadily approaching. In a number of months, millions of Americans will cast their vote for their ideal candidate or as many put it, the lesser of two evils. Historically, there’s a number of states that each election ultimately comes down to, these are known as swing states. But in this election, Democrat Joe Biden is running against a president with considerably low approval ratings, so there are a lot of uncertainties.

Arizona has not been a contested state in terms of being red or blue, as its state politics are mainly controlled by the Republican party. For the past seventeen Presidential elections, Bill Clinton was the only Democratic candidate to win in the state. In the past, there’s been little doubt that a Republican candidate would lose an election there.

Donald Trump, however, is a wild card. In light of recent events such as the Coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, many traditionally red states are withdrawing support from the president.

In the last presidential election,, Trump won in Arizona with a majority of less than five percent. Since the 2016 election, his approval rating in various sectors has gone down and the Brookings Institute has ranked him “the most polarizing president in American history”. As of a couple weeks ago, the Rasmussen Reports Polling Company declared that Trump’s approval rating within Republicans has also gone down. This could change guaranteed Republican wins within the electoral college.

In Arizona, roughly 35% of registered voters are Republican, 32% are Democrats, and the remaining percentage is split up into third parties. Though Republicans are holding the majority, Democratic support has been growing in the state for the past five years. The fate of the state is more uncertain than it has been for the past couple elections.

The state is gradually inching left with Biden leading in the polls, Democratic candidate Mark Kelly leading in the race for the Senate, and due to the disapproval of the Republican governor opening the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s ever-changing demographics are also responsible for this shift. The Latino population constitutes the Democratic stronghold in Arizona and are the current generation that is pushing for Trump to leave office. It’s in part due to his anti-immigrant rhetoric. The diversity in the state is ever-changing and only makes the upcoming election more uncertain. Young protestors are encouraging people to vote. People who have never been active in the political realm are coming out to protests to stand up for their rights and fight against the current administration’s actions ultimately increasing voter turnout.

Arizona’s democratic shift has become increasingly noticeable over the last couple years, but recent events have expedited this process. The president and his administration are only furthering it.

It’s very possible President Trump may lose this conservative state and it’s 11 electoral college votes. Even with Biden leading in the polls, it’s too soon to tell. Anything can happen from here to November.



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