As the Arizona midterms draw near, tensions run high as the GOP looks to pick up another Senate seat, while the Democrats aim to retain their majority in Washington. The race for governor will be tight as well, as the incumbent Republican is term-limited. The Phillips Academy Poll will be heavily monitoring opinions in the Grand Canyon State, which chose Trump in 2016 but sided with Biden in 2020 by a margin of 0.3%.
Democratic Senator Mark Kelly is up for re-election this cycle and is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Kelly plans on expanding infrastructure, ending tax breaks for the wealthy and for corporations, and expanding health care access. On the Republican side, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, CPAC-endorsed businessman Jim Lamon, Thiel Foundation President Blake Masters, are neck-and-neck in a crowded field with several other minor candidates. Both the Republican primary and any resulting general election look like toss-ups.
In the gubernatorial election, incumbent Republican Governor Doug Ducey is term-limited, leaving the field wide open. Leading by a huge margin in the Republican Primary is news anchor Kari Lake, who looks to both secure the U.S.–Mexico border and take back Arizona from “radical progressives” and their “dangerous policies”. Lake has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, who remains influential in Republican party politics. The likely Democratic nominee, leading by a similarly large margin, is Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Hobbs plans on rebuilding the economy equitably, strengthening public education, and protecting voting rights for all residents of the state if elected.
Arizona, the home of famed moderate Republican John McCain, has generally been a red state for most of the past 50 years. Time will tell if Arizona voters chose Biden out of dislike for Trump’s brand of Republicanism, or if Arizona Democrats are here to stay.