Powerful surrogates are speaking on the Democratic candidate’s behalf, but Trump is doing more than his share to hand the state over to the opposition.
Big-name Hillary Clinton surrogates are headed for Arizona this week. The traditionally red state is poised to turn blue this year. Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Chelsea Clinton intend to give it a big boost in that direction.
Arizona would seem to be a cinch for any Republican to win. Voters have supported only one Democratic presidential candidate since 1952 — namely, Bill Clinton in 1996.
According to NBC, Donald Trump is out of resources and putting almost no effort into Arizona — in spite of the fact that the Grand Canyon state is one place where he still has the support of the state GOP. Republican operative Matthew Benson told NBC:
Barring something unforeseen, Trump is going to lose Arizona, and you’re still not seeing the type of activity you’d expect to see if he expects to save it.
While the state party has been busy putting out fliers and making phone calls on behalf of the GOP ticket, the man at the top of that ticket has dropped the ball. His campaign isn’t investing in either TV or radio ads, and has provided scant funds for promotional mailers.
On the other hand, the Democratic Party has moved to maximize the advantage it gained when Trump’s predatory behavior toward women became public. As the Republican’s big donors have fled, the Democratic campaign has forced him to use his resources in states that have been reliably red in the past. Inexplicably, few of those resources are going to Arizona.
Michelle Obama is being deployed to Phoenix while her passionate speech against Trump’s sexual assaults still rings in the ears of the nation’s women. She will appear at an an early-vote rally there on Thursday. First, however, Bernie Sanders will rally voters in Flagstaff and Tucson on Tuesday, and Chelsea Clinton will appear at Arizona State University on Wednesday, the day of the final presidential debate.
But these powerhouse surrogates aren’t the only ones working against the Republican candidate. Arizona’s two GOP senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, have emphatically and publicly disavowed their party’s candidate. McCain said he’s not voting for either one of the major party candidates — thereby joining what some have called the fastest-growing voting bloc in the country.
Another GOP operative lamented to NBC that Arizona will probably turn blue in November. He said:
It will be because Trump lost Arizona rather than because Clinton won it.
We’re not Utah, but we have a sizable Mormon population. So the problems he’s having there [in Utah] should mimic to a smaller degree in states like Arizona and Nevada. And it only takes a few degrees given his numbers in Arizona right now.
In addition to losing the conservative Mormon vote, Trump seems to have done everything in his power to alienate Latinos. It’s bad news for him, then, that Arizona’s population is 31% Hispanic and that they make up 22% of eligible voters.
There’s been a huge push by activist organizations to register these voters and get them out to the polls. Trump has provided a powerful motivation with his talk about building a wall and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants — to say nothing of his unwavering alliance with the detested, civil rights-violating Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
In a two-way match-up with Clinton, Trump would take only 17% of the Latino vote to her 70%. The overall prospects for turning Arizona blue look so good, that the Democratic nominee herself is considering following her surrogates out West. A personal appearance just might seal the deal.
Feature photo, Michelle Obama public domain photo from the U.S. federal government.