Obama Pushes To Make Arizona A Swing State in 2012

Smart move by Team Obama, because it is likely to put more strain on Team Romney and the GOP's resources. Still, it is unlikely that Arizona will break for Obama in 2012 given the state's sizeable Mormon population and high unemployment rate. The New York Times' Adam Nagourney reports:

By any measure the obstacles are considerable: Arizona has voted for precisely one Democratic president since Truman was in the White House. Yet Mr. Obama’s aides said in interviews that they thought it was possible they could move the needle of history by winning in 2012 a state that analysts believe is heading Democratic in national elections, but may not be there yet.

Obama strategists are simply following the same techniques they used in 2008 when putting states like North Carolina and Indiana into play. Then, too, there was much initial skepticism, though both states ended up going for Mr. Obama.

Yet for all those signs of organizing activity — and the fact that demographic and political changes across the West have made this region increasingly tempting ground for Democrats —Mr. Obama’s campaign strategists are not yet convinced he can win the state this November. Mr. Obama’s aides said they closely monitored the organizing here and would assess the result of their work over the next few months to see whether it made sense to pour money and resources into Arizona this fall.

[Arizona's] unemployment rate in February was 8.7 percent. That is higher than the 7.6 percent rate in November 2008, but 2 percentage points down from when it broke double-digits in 2010.

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published this page in In The News 2012-04-16 12:26:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy