Arizona has voted Republican in every Presidential election except one since 1952. But in recent years, the state has been trending more and more to the middle. For example, in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump won the state by about four percentage points. Before then in 2012, Mitt Romney won the Grand Canyon State by nine percentage points. If you look at other high profile races, like our U.S. Senate seats, John McCain won his election in 2016 by almost 14 points. Two years ago, a Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema, beat Republican Martha McSally in a squeaker, by two percentage points.
Not only has Arizona changed in its voting pattern, but also demographics. The Latinx population in Arizona has grown dramatically in recent years. This group now represents a third of the total population of Arizona and is only growing in size. The state has become more diverse in more recent years, and with it come new political leanings. Arizona has also seen a lot of people moving to the state from California. As most know, California is a hub for progressive ideals and policy. New Arizonans from California have changed the state's political leaning from conservative to a little it more moderate, sometimes even blue.
Many pundits are watching Arizona because it has the potential to be a tipping-point state in the 2020 election. According to FiveThirtyEight, Joe Biden has a four-point lead over President Trump. The one county that basically makes up the whole state is Maricopa County. One out of every two Arizonans lives here. Sinema won the county and ultimately carried the state to propel herself into the U.S. Senate. Arizona uses a majority vote-by-mail system and in the past, it has taken a week or two to declare winners in certain races. And due to the coronavirus pandemic, Arizona could see a record number of mail-in ballots, which could lead to a drawn-out process.
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