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The GOP Is Freaking Out (And Spending Big) Over Fears This Southwest State Could Go ‘Blue’

A number of standard states probably come to mind when you think of those you might call “swing states.”

Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. Florida. Michigan.

But Arizona? Add that to the column, too. The Republican Party apparently already has.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee has transferred nearly $600,000 in the time period from January of 2019 to January 2020 to The Grand Canyon’s state Republican apparatus, The Daily Beast has noted in a special report about the state. That’s the largest transfer of campaign spending cash from the RNC to any GOP-state party across the nation that didn’t have a special election during that period of time.

For comparison, the amount of money transferred from the RNC to Wisconsin’s GOP was less than half that amount — less than $280,000 during that same time.

Why the added attention to Arizona? The state has been trending “purple” as of late, and polling indicates it could go all-out “blue” in 2020, voting for Democratic candidates in the presidential and its senatorial race.

Data from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning polling organization, found that Trump’s approval rating in the state is at a net -6 percentage points. Accordingly, he’s statistically tied in a hypothetical matchup between him and Joe Biden, as well as with Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders.

A Senate election in Arizona, too, looks as though it could go for the Democratic candidate. Republican Sen. Martha McSally currently trails challenger Mark Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, by 4 percentage points.

The Republican Party is facing a do-or-die moment in a number of other key swing states, particularly when it comes to trying to re-elect Trump to the presidency for a second term. In Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, polling shows him losing to Sanders, and a recent poll in Wisconsin also shows that the race is going to be a tight one there.

In 2016, Trump won those states, as well as Arizona, propelling himself to win the presidency, though he lost the popular vote across the nation. Without the bulk of those swing states going his way again, it’s unclear what path he can take to secure another term in office.



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