By writer to www.kuow.org
It was typical knowledge that when you win Phoenix and surrounding Maricopa County, you most likely win Arizona.
However that is 2020 and all bets are off. President Trump and his marketing campaign advisors apparently see a path to victory in Arizona with out choosing up the state’s most populous county.
Famously dwelling to the anti-immigration sheriff Joe Arpaio and conservative snowbirds, Maricopa County was as soon as reliably purple. However in 2016, Trump received the county by lower than three factors. And polls now present Vice President Biden forward, as extra Latinos come of voting age and new development from out of state is tilting Phoenix blue.
“What meaning is that when you’re searching for a win in Arizona, the agricultural vote would be the deciding issue,” says Scott Smith, the previous mayor of Mesa who ran for Governor as a Republican in 2014.
Smith says if the election is shut, Trump may win Arizona by holding down his losses in cities and getting an enormous rural turnout.
“I do not know if the numbers work out that manner,” Smith says. “However we have seen some fascinating leads to statewide elections over the past two to 3 election cycles that will say that is not an absurd technique.”
100 miles to the north of the nation’s fifth largest metropolis, the Biden-Harris indicators that line busy Phoenix thoroughfares begin to give approach to the horse farms, pastures and lengthy driveways the place blue MAGA flags are fixtures.
In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton by a 2 to 1 margin in Yavapai County. Nationwide, Trump’s win was credited partly to a big rural and dealing class turnout in battleground states specifically.
“I am sticking with President Trump as a result of he pulled us out of the gutter and acquired us on monitor,” says Laurie Holton, of Dewey, Ariz.
Exterior an early voting station within the county seat of Prescott one afternoon, Holton mentioned the financial system, and rebounding from the COVID lockdowns, are high on her thoughts.
“It is a disgrace as a result of so many individuals need to blame the financial system now on him,” she mentioned.
Other than the lockdowns, 2020 has been a very worrying yr for Holton. Her husband had a foul accident, struggling mind harm. She’s now working formally as his caregiver. The insurance coverage he had by way of work wasn’t nice, and the couple is relieved to be on Medicaid, the backed federal medical insurance program.
“Medicaid got here to the rescue and has actually helped us,” Holton mentioned.
The Trump administration is in court docket attempting to overturn President Obama’s Inexpensive Care Act – and its Medicaid expansions and protections for pre-existing circumstances. Holton conceded that was regarding. Nevertheless it apparently is not a deciding think about her vote, a testomony to how robust the President’s base nonetheless is in additional rural locations like this.
Trump staged a big rally just lately in Prescott and was again in Arizona this week for 2 extra, once more skipping main cities.
2016 made clear that the Electoral School skews closely in favor of conservative-leaning rural America. However in the meantime, that hasn’t translated into both presidential candidate speaking a lot about rural points other than the occasional point out of fracking or commerce wars. This has lengthy been a criticism of rural voters, who say nationwide politicians promise fixes, solely to get right here and discover out that the issues are advanced and never solvable over one election cycle.
Rural America can also be not one monolithic place, nor are its voters, an indication that Trump’s late hour technique may be a little bit of a bet in some states.
“We aren’t uneducated, we’re not unpolitical, we perceive what is going on on,” says voter Rosemary Dixon. “It is a massive mistake for candidates federally to disregard us.”
However, at a espresso store in downtown Prescott, Dixon expressed frustration watching a lot of her neighbors doubling down for President Trump. For her, well being care can also be an enormous concern. She’s 62 and will get her insurance coverage from the Obamacare exchanges, at the least for now.
She needed to have a kidney transplant a couple of years in the past.
“They are saying they’re going to shield pre-existing circumstances however I do not suppose I imagine that at this level,” Dixon mentioned. [Copyright 2020 NPR]
— to www.kuow.org