The Political Setting in Arizona ahead of the 2018 Midterm Elections
There is a small protest group that holds demonstrations every Tuesday morning outside the offices of two Republican senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, in Phoenix, Arizona. This began as a small demonstration against Donald Trump and has now evolved into a weekly protest.
The colorful signs that say “Grab ’em by the Midterms 2018” and “Fox News is the real Pravda” that are paraded around by these protesters seem to attract some support from passing motorists and bystanders. There is, of course, the occasional disapproval. However, protesters have said that they are still very much impressed by the amount of support they are getting from a conservative western state.
There are signs of support for their liberal activism. From her small protests to the Women’s March and the March for Our Lives anti-gun violence rally. These protesters say that all this support is “all new to us” in the state of Arizona.
Arizona is riddled with political issues that enrage liberals and is also the center of an ongoing illegal immigrant debate wherein both Hispanics, which is 31% of the population, and suburban white voters strongly disagree with hardline politics imposed by the president.
There is a growing number of Hispanic voters in Arizona which as made the state a very tempting target for Democrats and the electoral success has eluded them every year. In the upcoming 2018 midterm Democrats are assiduously optimistic as Arizona stands to be one of the biggest political battlegrounds.
There are three candidates for the Senate seat for Arizona, all of which are republicans that have embraced Trump’s agenda. US congresswoman Martha McSally, one of the candidates and is a decorated air force veteran. Kelli Ward, another candidate and is a former state senator and far-right conservative. The third Republican candidate is Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff whom of which was pardoned by Trump after he was convicted for contempt because he refused to stop racially profiling Hispanics.
Senator Mccain said in his new memoir that Republicans are “on the wrong side” of the immigration debate and that they are risking the loss of Latino voters for a whole generation.
A state senator who is one of the emerging Hispanic lawmakers, Juan Mendez, said that his election to power serves as proof that there has been a shift in demographics and the efforts in voter registration have changed the political outlook.
Hillary Clinton had lost Arizona to Trump by 3.5% in 2016 and it was one of the closest margin of Democratic defeat since that of her husband, Bill Clinton, back in 1996. Republicans were bewildered by a very close special election victory in Phoenix, in a mostly conservative suburban district in which Trump won by 21 points.
Democrats are outnumbered by Republicans but the Democrats remain optimistic. The Democrats claim to have a new strategy of reaching new voters and placing candidates in congressional positions. However, Republicans fight back of course.
Joseph Garcia, the Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center director at the Arizona State University has mentioned that a fifth of the Arizona electorate in 2016 election was Latinos, but had limited influence due to a low voter turnout. However, he has worked on a study which found that Arizona has potential to become a blue, progressive state by 2030 with the help of the Latino vote.