Arizona finds itself at the center of the political world in 2020. Democrats have a must-win U.S. Senate race there and the state may just provide the 270th electoral vote for whoever wins the White House. But most importantly (as Future Now Fund sees it), both chambers of the legislature could be flipped — Republicans control the House 31-29 and the Senate 17-13.
This week we’ll focus on the Senate, where Democrats lost two races by a combined 2,000 votes. If 1,000 people switch their votes across two districts then the chamber would be tied 15-15 today. It really goes to show you just how much of an impact you can make in state legislatures — a few thousand dollars well spent could be the difference between a majority and a minority.
So how do we get there in 2020? Let’s take a look at the map:
Let’s take a closer look at Phoenix too
And here’s how the Democrats could reach the majority:
Safe Democratic: 11 Seats
Democrats have a solid base in the state among college-educated and predominantly Latinx districts. Not bad for them considering they only held 9 seats total at the start of the decade.
Lean Democratic: 2
The 10th and 18th used to be battleground seats but they’ve shifted strongly toward Democrats during the Trump era. They should be safe but still bear watching just in case the national environment turns against Democrats.
These are the two districts where 1,000 votes made the difference. Democrat Christine Marsh came within just 267 votes of flipping the Phoenix-based 28th in 2018 and she’s seeking a rematch in a seat where she should be helped by presidential turnout. Further to the north, Sen. Sylvia Allen won by less than 2% in 2018 and her recent comment that unemployed Arizonans are getting paid too much may cost her a final term in the Senate.
Tilt Republican: 2
The 17th and 20th are similar districts: traditionally Republican Phoenix suburbs that Kyrsten Sinema carried. Democrats need to flip either of them to take an outright majority in the Senate. Neither race was as close as those in the 6th and 28th in 2018 so Republicans still have a slight edge here.
Lean Republican: 3
The 8th, 21st and 23rd are all suburban Phoenix seats that Democrats haven’t carried recently but are nevertheless trending away from Republicans. Right now it looks like they won’t trend enough toward Democrats for them to get 50% or more, but we’re keeping our eye out.
And that’s the story in the Arizona Senate. “What about the House?” you may be asking. Well I’ll get to that next week, so stay tuned. And as always, if you find these previews helpful your generosity is greatly appreciated.
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.