Copyright © 2019 jsd

Arizona is Not a Red State

Arizona is not a red state. It’s barely even purple. Maybe a bluish shade of violet. Elected representatives should not pretend otherwise.

The consensus of pundits is that Arizona will be a battleground in the 2020 presidential race. It would have been a battleground in 2016 if the Hillary campaign hadn’t been too lazy and clueless to do a bit of campaigning. As it was, the #pussygrabber carried the state by a slim margin.

Similar considerations apply to other races. Statewide (Sinema) the Cook PVI is just over R+2. CD01 (O’Halleran) is R+2, and CD02 (Kirkpatrick) is R+1. To put that in context, the typical highly-competitive district is around R+5. Let’s be clear: R+0 is not neutral; in fact, it is definitely blue. In particular: in the 2018 election, there were only three Republicans elected from districts that are bluer than R+3. Conversely, there were four Democrats elected from districts that are redder than R+9.

Figure 1: Last Election Margin vs. PVI

Again and again, politicians say they can’t support progressive legislation because their constitutents are R+1 or R+2. That’s the answer to every question and the obstacle to every request. However, it’s baloney several times over:

Memo to politicians: To a first approximation, everybody in Washington lies to everybody else all the time. But around here we play by different rules. If you go before a bunch of people who are predisposed to support you, and tell them stuff that isn’t true, that’s a good way to lose their support.

Don’t tell us Arizona is a red state.

*   References

I collected a bunch of data from disparate sources. I cleaned it up and made it available in a number of convenient forms, as described here:

“Contest the Hard-to-Win Races”
Copyright © 2019 jsd