Will Arizona Go Blue In 2016? Donald Trump May Blow This GOP Stronghold
As the election nears, the predictions on how different states (particularly battleground states) will vote are only increasing. However, this election is so unprecedented that many are wondering if even traditionally red states will be up for grabs. Sitting on the front burner of these potentially tenuous Republican states is Arizona, which could break its GOP streak. Many have wondered: Will Arizona go blue this election?
The latest polls suggest that such an outcome is a real possibility. According to Monmouth University polling, Hillary Clinton is polling 45 percent in the state, while Donald Trump is at 46 percent. That tight race is even more outstanding when compared to the last presidential election results. In 2012, Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama in Arizona by 10 points.
While Arizona has only gone to one Democratic presidential nominee in the past 64 years, the state's strong GOP voter base could potentially be eclipsed by the growing Latino community, which makes up 30 percent of Arizona's population, according to a poll from Pew Research Center. One of the concerns held by GOP supporters in Arizona is the ways in which Trump's strict and polarizing immigration policies — which include his cornerstone proposal for building a wall on the Mexican border — could incite more Latino voters to show up to vote for Clinton.
A nonpartisan poll taken by Univision in September showed that Clinton leads Trump among Hispanic voters in Arizona by an outstanding 50-percent margin, with her taking 68 percent and Trump only 18 percent. If the large Latino voting bloc was mobilized by this election, Arizona could potentially turn blue for the first time in decades.
As an omen of the red state's possible shift, the traditionally conservative Arizona newspaper The Arizona Republic endorsed Clinton, which marked the paper's first official endorsement for a Democrat candidate since it was founded in 1890. While still admitting Clinton's flaws, the paper laid out the reasons it endorsed the Democrat over Trump, many of which hearkened to their differences in temperament would affect their presidency:
She does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies. Her approach to governance is mature, confident and rational. That cannot be said of her opponent. Clinton retains her composure under pressure. She’s tough. She doesn’t back down. Trump responds to criticism with the petulance of verbal spit wads. That’s beneath our national dignity.
The Democrats campaigning have been fully aware of the potential for Arizona's shift to a blue state, and according to The Washington Post, Clinton has 32 offices in Arizona and a total of 161 staffers. At this point, Trump has no official offices in Arizona, but has handed out papers for potential volunteers while campaigning.
With just two weeks to go before voters flood the booths and our next president is elected, there has been a lot of speculating over which direction battleground states will shift. Despite its faithful GOP history, Arizona could be one of the states that swings in 2016.