After 20 years of voting red, Arizona may change its tune this presidential election. With Trump’s build-a-wall proposal and offensive remarks against Latinos, the swing state may now be willing to vote blue more than any other time in recent history.
Trump dispatched his vice-presidential pick Mike Pence to the state on Tuesday for two public events. The move signals that the GOP nominee is concerned that Arizona will be competitive this year.
Democrats, meanwhile, are taking advantage of the opportunity. The party is urging the Clinton campaign to invest in the swing state and lobbying Democratic groups for resources to make the party more competitive.
Arizona Democrats are pushing Bill Clinton to urge Hillary Clinton to funnel more money into the Hispanic-heavy state. Bill carried the state in 1996, the last time the state went blue.
Trump has already identified Arizona as a potential battleground, and new polls show that the two candidates are neck-in-neck it the state. But the Clinton campaign will need to start acting quickly if it hopes to get an edge over Trump early on. Already, Pence is scheduled to attend two rallies on Tuesday in Tucson and Phoenix.
Neither presidential candidate held an event in the state after the 2012 conventions.
Arizona Democrats believe there a number of factors that put Arizona at play for either candidate. Trump is highly unpopular among the Hispanic community, as is Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff and vocal Trump supporter.
Arizona also has a higher percentage of eligible Hispanic voters than any other battleground state.
Democrats have put 100 staff workers in the state, who are working on voter registration. Hundreds of volunteers are also on the ground to aid the cause.