Posted on November 7, 2016
Arizona: The Grand Canyon State hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996, but Democrats believe that increased Hispanic voter registration will keep things competitive.
Recent polling has given Republican Donald Trump a slight edge over Democrat Hillary Clinton, but Democrats cite an advantage in early voting as evidence that it could be a close night. On Friday, the final day of early voting, thousands of Arizonans stood in long lines.
Two other races in the state also signal the growing power of the state’s Latino voters.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 Republican presidential nominee who has tepidly stood by Trump’s candidacy this year, is running for a sixth term. McCain appears headed to victory due partly to modest Latino support.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Republican who became a polarizing national figure in the debate over immigration and border control, is facing the toughest reelection of his 24-year reign amid tussles with the Justice Department. National liberal and Hispanic groups have targeted the race as a chance to knock off the man they consider the poster boy for unjust immigration detention policies.
Colorado: Colorado is one of the most widely swinging battleground states. It cast its vote for Republican George W. Bush in 2004 by a higher percentage than the nation as a whole. Four years later, it did the same thing — except for Democrat Barack Obama.
That pattern is set to hold if the nation votes for Clinton. She’s been leading in most polls in Colorado for most of the general election. Her campaign didn’t run TV ads in the state for most of this campaign, though she has jumped in with ads in the past few days, as the race has tightened.
Only termed a swing state in the past few elections, Colorado has been shifting to the left rapidly. This year, for the first time in decades, Democratic and unaffiliated voters outnumber Republicans.
The state’s growing Latino population, more than 20 percent as well as the Denver area’s explosion of younger voters are among the reasons for the shift.