Arizona Continues to be the State to Watch in 2018 Elections

CNN: “Why Arizona Democrats are going all-in on this Trump district”

PHOENIX – More top elections experts are saying Arizona continues to be viewed as one of the top states to watch in the 2018 midterm election cycle, with NBC News saying the U.S. Senate race is the third most likely to flip parties this year.

The Arizona Democratic Party is building on this excitement by investing in all fifteen counties and working to harness the growing enthusiasm behind our candidates. With key wins in Maricopa County – such as electing Adrian Fontes and defeating Joe Arpaio in 2016 – the Party’s goal to go to the next level is already paying dividends. 

Just last weekend, more than 110 Arizonans helped open a field office for Dr. Hiral Tipirneni and her special election campaign in Arizona’s Eighth District. Further, Democrats were engaged and turned out for the special election’s contested primary last week.


NBC News: “This race remains the most fascinating Senate contest of 2018…

CNN: "...local Democrats say they believe they're in the middle of a political sea change that will turn Arizona into a midterm battleground and marquee presidential swing state.

'I believe, bottom-line, we can win,' said Felecia Rotellini, the Arizona Democratic Party chairwoman.

It's an admission Democrats elsewhere have been hesitant to make in a series of House special elections in deep-red districts over the last year." [...]

"Arizona Democrats say they see the race in the 8th District -- where emergency room doctor Hiral Tipirneni won last Tuesday's Democratic primary ahead of the April 24 special election -- as a test run for their organizing efforts since President Donald Trump took office. A competitive contest in the Maricopa County suburbs west of Phoenix would confirm that a massive shift is taking place across the state.

They also see fighting against long odds as important to keeping activists engaged and the Democratic base motivated before calling on the same ground troops to lead a much broader offensive in the fall, when a Senate seat and the governor's office will be on the line.

'There's a sleeping giant that's awakening in our district, and people feel like they're being talked to for the first time in a long time,' Tipirneni said." [...]

"This year, though, Democrats in the West Valley say they want to fight.

On Saturday, Rotellini and Tipirneni were on hand for the earliest-ever opening of the state Democratic Party's 8th District office, where 113 people came on a Saturday morning to kick off canvassing efforts for the special election.

Rotellini, the 2010 and 2014 Democratic nominee for attorney general, said she's seen huge shifts in the West Valley since she was a candidate. 'It's really not your grandfather's Arizona anymore,' she said.

As chairwoman, she's launched a 15-county plan reminiscent of former Democratic National Committee Howard Dean's 50-state strategy. The goal, she said, is for voters to hear Democrats' message everywhere in the state.

Such an effort could pay off: Arizona is a marquee state in the 2018 midterm elections, with retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake's seat up for grabs and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey running for re-election. But it's also poised to become one of the nation's most important swing states in the 2020 presidential election." [...]

"Democrats in Maricopa County says they see a major move leftward in recent years.

The breakthrough came in 2016, said Steven Slugocki, the Democratic chairman in Maricopa County, which is home to nearly two-thirds of Arizona's voters. Adrian Fontes narrowly won a race for county recorder, and Paul Penzone ousted legendarily controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio.

'There is a huge shift going on right now,' Slugocki said. 'The growth in local activism here has been unprecedented and something no one could have seen coming, and these people are itching to have their voices heard.'

"You can call it a blue wave. You can call it just momentum,' he said. 'But here in Maricopa County, we are rapidly changing.'"