According to a report from Politico, senior Republicans in Arizona are furious at Donald Trump for accelerating the decline of the party in their state, with polling showing GOP candidates up and down the ballot either losing or facing a tough road ahead before November 3rd.
With Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) on the verge of losing a second election for a Senate seat to a Democrat in two years -- after being appointed to fill the seat held by Sen. John Kyle who resigned -- Arizona Republicans now fear they may become the minority party for years.
Much of the blame for the downfall of the party in the once-reliable Republican state is being placed upon Donald Trump.
According to Politico's Sabrina Rodriguez, "Republicans are reckoning with signs that the party has taken on a direction that won’t play well in Arizona in 2020 — or ever. With that, Democrats could cement control of state politics, as they have in other suburban-heavy states, like Colorado and Virginia. A win by Democratic Senate nominee Mark Kelly would put both of Arizona’s seats in Democratic hands after decades of GOP control. All Democrats need is two seats in the state House and three seats in the state Senate to flip the state legislature. Turning both chambers would be a first for Democrats in more than 50 years."
Chuck Coughlin, a veteran GOP strategist in Arizona, was blunt about what has happened in the state.
"It’s Republicans’ own fault this is happening. It’s their unwillingness to govern. They’ve always been the party that wants to put together electoral coalitions to address policy issues. And under the party of Trump, you’re just vilifying people, not coming up with ideas,” he explained before adding, "Like Sen. John McCain would say, 'It's always darkest before it's totally black.' And, in this case, black is blue. I hope the party will do some soul-reflecting.”
Noting Republicans still control the governorship and the attorney general's seat, the report states that Trump will likely lose the state that has gone Republican for years and will be represented by two Democrats in the Senate: former astronaut Mark Kelly and current Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
Add to that, Politico reports, "both chambers of the state legislature and control of the state Corporation Commission," will likely end up controlled by Democrats.
According to Daniel Barker, a former Arizona Court of Appeals Judge who helped set up Arizona Republicans Who Believe In Treating Others With Respect, "We need to change direction."
“The Republican Party needs to understand that there’s a large number of us voting Democrat all down the ballot because of Trump, and they need to realize that their choice to blindly follow him will impact the state politics,” explained Barker.
According to Politico's Rodriguez, "The November election will provide the first indication of whether Arizona is becoming Democratic-leaning territory, like Colorado and Virginia — or a perennial swing state, like Florida. The state’s growing Latino population and shifting attitudes among college-educated white voters across the state have been a boon to Democrats."
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