By Derek Evans
Arizonans know that in presidential politics, the State has been as red as the stripes in Old Glory. In the past half century, the only time the State went blue was in 1996, when it went for Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton, who beat Republican candidate Bob Doll. Arizona did an about face to the right, when the desert-dwellers elected George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections. The State’s own U.S. Sen. John McCain won in 2008. One would think this would make Arizona a shoe-in for Mitt Romney this year, but that’s not necessarily the case. For one, current Republican Gov. Jan Brewer isn’t exactly popular among her constituents. According to www.publicpolicy.com, only 46 percent of Arizonans approve of Gov. Brewer; while 47 percent disapprove. Voters in Arizona this November may see a little bit of Brewer in Romney. After all they are both strong supporters of Senate Bill (SB) 1070.
I can’t see this going over very well with Arizona’s large Hispanic population. Romney will probably try to win-the-state-over by talking about the economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate in Arizona is 8.6 percent; slightly higher than the current national average. This tactic alone, won’t help Romney to win Arizona. With this strategy he may even have difficulty winning on the national stage. Romney may very well be the most anti-immigration presidential candidates in American history. Bottom line, it’s possible President Barack Obama wins Arizona. Even if he doesn’t, by forcing the Romney camp to spend money in the state to defend what was once thought of as a Republican strong-hold, would be a major set-back. Many pundits have not considered Arizona to be a swing-state, because of the number of Electoral College votes the State has. ¶