PHOENIX (AP) – Democrats have been asking questions for a long time: Has this year turned Arizona blue? In 2020, the answer was “yes”.
Joe Biden won Arizona’s 11 electoral votes for the presidency and Mark Kelly won a seat in the US Senate, ushering in an era of Democratic leadership since Republicans did not dominate the state’s 1952 election.
Will Democrats dominate the ballot even less, with a key race for the US House, with the state legislature and state utility regulator up in the air but within reach for Democrats.
But Arizona voters decided to legalize recreational marijuana sales four years after rejecting it, going against the Republican political establishment as opposed to joining other US states with the state’s legal weed.
Voters also appeared to approve a tax increase for the wealthy to give more money to financially disadvantaged schools. It was a bitter rebuke to Republican Gov. Doug Doussey and the state’s business community that led to millions of campaigns against the tax.
This result pleased Democrats and ensured a vengeance for Republicans, who have enjoyed dominance in Arizona politics for decades.
“Now people recognize that Arizona is in the game, will always be in the game,” said US Rep. Rubin Gallego, who said Phoenix Democrats won comfortably.
Turning to a friendly zone for Democrats, Arizona is following a path blazed by its neighbors Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. It is also that he is the brightest light of Democrats in the Sun Belt states trying to flip from the GOP this year.
Gallolego said that Arizona Democrats did better in other states during a decade of organizing Latino to vote, where Democrats were few.
Arizona Democrats benefited from the state’s changing demographics – with more young people and Latino registrations, inflows of new residents from more liberal states like California, and conflicts between some suburban women about President Donald Trump.
Adding the Democrats’ gains on Tuesday to their victory in 2018, the party now controls Arizona US Senate seats, a majority of the US House delegation 6-3, and the possibility of leading two statewide offices.
The Republican-majority State Legislature was also within comprehension and therefore the state’s corporation commission, which set rates for electricity, gas and water utilities.
In Maricopa County, where Phoenix and its suburbs are home to more than 60 percent of Arizona’s population, Democrats seemed ready to win the race for county attorney, sheriff, and win a majority on the board of supervisors.
Even at the height of the GOP’s dominance, Arizona was not an unbroken one. Democrats were sometimes elected to statewide office, such as in 2002 and 2006 Gov. Janet Napolitano. President Bill Clinton won Arizona in his 1996 bid.
But Republicans have never returned to their heels in memory.
Arizona voters turned their backs to Trump, Maxley and Ducey because they failed to lead, Chuck Coughlin, a longtime Republican political adviser, said.
“Trump’s Republicanism is not Arizona Republicanism … Our tent is bigger than that. He keeps the Republican Party shrouded in the mirror of a Democratic Party of identity politics, rather than ideology and coalition building.” Coughlin said.
He said the errors made by the state’s Republican leaders include constantly cutting taxes, although the growing state requires more revenue for schools, health services and infrastructure, and not handling immigration reform, They said.
Republicans were unwilling to refuse on Wednesday, believing they could still win plenty of uncountable ballots to top Trump and Maxley. Dusi tweeted that it is premature to conclude that the Democrats have won.
Doosey tweeted, “Count the votes – before announcing.”
Associated Press calls presidential race in Arizona Because the remaining ballots remain to be counted, including mail-in votes in Maricopa County, where Biden vehemently demonstrated, there were not enough for Trump to hold the former vice president. Kelly’s lead was even larger than Biden’s.
Republicans set out for a pre-election rally at the state GOP headquarters on Monday were stunned that their solid red state had turned into a competitive arena.
“It’s hard to find out,” said David Tomich, a 55-year-old store owner in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. “I hope it’s not just people coming from other states. I hope it is not. We need to keep the state red. “
Sarah Cabirek, a 65-year-old commercial real estate appraiser from Scott Caddell, believes McSally’s many years of relentless attacks began with the 2018 campaign, and barely resulted in defeat.
“I don’t think the state has changed so much that they really want two Democratic senators,” Cabirac said.
Registered Democratic Jeff Gusser, a Phoenix resident who manages strip clubs in other states, said he flew home from St. Louis to vote for Biden and tried to make sure Trump did not move to Arizona.
“He has misunderstood the coronavirus but it is far ahead of it,” said Gusser, 34.
Get full election coverage of the AP at APNews.com/Election2020.