PHOENIX, Ariz. (NewsNation Now) — Arizona voters say they are swayed by a host of issues in casting their ballots. And many are wondering whether this is the year Arizona will flip from red to blue, or not.
Uncertainty is the only given at this point, just 20 days out from Election Day
After decades as a Republican stronghold, Arizona is now a strong battleground state.
“I’ve been here forty something years. It’s been red a long long time. Sorry to say, a lot of those people passed away, people keep moving in, newer generations all the time, it got purple, now it’s time for blue,” Arizona voter Neal Casale said.
What will actually result of the voting now underway is clearly up in the air.
“I think Trump is gonna win easily and I think the state of Arizona is in good shape,” voter Terry Armentor said.
While supporters on both sides express confidence about victory, the Policy Lab at the University of Arizona has been tracking a clear shift.
“We’re anticipating a fair amount of Republican defection,” Chris Weber, with the Policy Lab said. “As many as 10 to 20%, depending on the part of Arizona, 10-20% of Arizona Republicans actually report supporting the Democratic candidate.”)
“I cannot vote Republican this year,” said 92-year-old Francis Ley.
Ley is among those flipping.
“This is the first time I’ve ever voted Democrat, ever in my life. And I can’t take it any longer,” Ley said
However, we also ran into a voter flipping the other way due to mask mandates and COVID shutdowns.
“My big thing is kids in school. That was my biggest thing because children need to be in school. That wavered me a little bit,” Cherise Fussy said.
Immigration is among the top issues cited by Arizona voters. Crackdowns over the past decade galvanized Latino voters within a growing population.
Pablo Olivo says he is also worried about healthcare.
“Being a first-generation immigrant, that’s important to me,” Olivio said. “The Affordable Care Act, that’s important as well. I know a lot of people, friends and family members who are on the Affordable Healthcare Act right now.”
But another voter Enrique, who declined to provide his last name, is more concerned about the Second Amendment, and he ignores all polling and projections.
“It’s probably gonna go Republican,” he told NewsNation. “Just because of the silent majority. A lot of people out there who do not like to take the polls or going out in public and saying things.”
Weber said it is likely that Arizona will continue to be a swing state, not because it’s moving to the ideological left but because it’s moving to the ideological center.
“Candidates will have to package themselves as moderates as opposed to liberals or conservatives,” Weber said.
Also on the ballot in Arizona, a high profile Senate race between incumbent Martha McSally and former astronaut Mark Kelly. In addition, voters are considering Proposition 207 which could make Arizona at least the twelfth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.