Politics with Amy Walter: Raising (Votes in) Arizona

September 18, 2020

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Arizona has been a reliably Republican state at the presidential level in every election since 1952 — except when Bill Clinton won in 1996. But a rapidly growing population has chipped away at the Republican advantage. In 2020, Arizona is rated a toss-up.

The state has had no-excuse absentee voting since 1991 and the numbers of voters who use this method continue to grow. As the president continues to malign the U.S. Postal Service and absentee ballots and question the integrity of the upcoming election, we hear from Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, KJZZ Phoenix host Steve Goldstein, and Professor Lisa Sanchez from the University of Arizona.

Latino voters are a growing share of the population in states like Florida, Texas, and Nevada. In Arizona, they account for about a quarter of voters in the state according to Pew. 

While national polling indicates that Joe Biden is ahead of President Trump when it comes to Latino voters, he hasn't been able to match Hillary Clinton’s margins from 2016. The Trump campaign is appealing to Latinos with a message centered on crime and the economy. The Biden campaign is using President Trump's response to the pandemic to illustrate that he's unfit to lead. 

Daniel Garza, president of the conservative Libre Initiative, and Carlos Odio, co-founder of democratic Latino polling and analysis firm Equis Research, share their insights as to what's at stake for this electorate.  

These conversations are part of a series called Every Vote Counts.