Trump team ‘clearly nervous about’ Biden taking Arizona: report
Joe Biden and Donald Trump (AFP)

The final New York Times/Siena College poll of Arizona was released Sunday and it found Democratic candidate Joe Biden leading incumbent president Donald J. Trump by six points -- and it's not what the Trump campaign wants to hear right now.


While Biden is not physically campaigning in the new battleground state Monday, he did spend more money in the Phoenix media market than anywhere else in the country in the last week before Election Day, Politico reported. Biden has outspent his opponent more than double throughout the past six weeks -- including the final week before Nov. 3.

It's a positive sign for the former vice president, but pollsters are discouraging confidence until all votes are counted. Still, Biden is leading in the critical state among early voters and the FiveThirtyEight polling average shows a Biden lead over Trump by 3 percentage points.

“[Trump] keeps coming back here because Arizona is clearly in play,” said Republican pollster Paul Bentz. “They're clearly nervous about it. And they are desperately trying to run up the score in places where every, every vote that turns out is likely a Trump vote.”

Arizona's winning contestant will be decided by these three factors: the winner of Maricopa County (the population that accounts for 60 percent of the state’s total electorate); whether or not Biden can drive up the score in Tucson’s Pima County, a Democratic stronghold; and whether or not Trump can uncover more votes in greater, rural Arizona. The latter involves a commitment from the voters to put their trust in a president who knowingly put their lives at risk at his superspreader rally last week.

“Your state is nice and open, your governor did a good job,” Trump said last week as coronavirus cases were rising in the state. “You had a spike and he sort of did what he had to do and you just stayed open.”

“If the Trump strategy is to over perform in rural counties to make up for Maricopa County the one thing that could really screw up that calculus is if Pima County overperforms for the Democrats,” said Republican Kirk Adams, former Speaker of the Arizona House.

According to an analysis of early voting data by the Democratic firm TargetSmart, Democrats lead by 11 points among voters who didn’t vote in 2016 as of Sunday. The new voters in Arizona this year are primarily 18-29 year olds (27.9 percent) and 50-60 year olds (21.6 percent). Republicans are expecting more of their voters to turn out on Election Day — a change in Arizona where Republicans have typically dominated the early vote and vote by mail.

The Latino vote may weight in heavily on Election Day as well. Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) met with Latino business owners in Tucson, the heart of traditionally blue Pima County, on the same day as Trump's rally. "If Biden can boost turnout among Latinos and across the board in metro Tucson, it could offset Trump’s gains in the rural parts of the state," Politico reported. And it adds up: As of Friday, there was a 62 percent increase in Latino votes cast early statewide compared to the same point in 2016, according to data provided by Hawkfish, a Democratic research firm.