Arizona is the place to be!
After an exciting year in Arizona, we have decided to stay here, build on our successes and the relationships we have made and help the absolutely critical state of Arizona turn blue for the 2020 presidential election!
We had a great experience in the 8th CD special election, expanded the range of activities for volunteers, developed hard evidence that other activities can be just as effective (if not more) than traditional activities, and travelled across the state collecting stories and ideas about how to make campaigns better.
Now, we are taking all of that and using it to help the Arizona Democratic Party dramatically improve its operations across the board by tapping into the amazing skills of the volunteer community here.
Changes in the State
Big results in the midterm elections show that Arizona is solidly “purple” and moving in the “blue” direction!
- The U.S. Senate campaign was won by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in one of only two Senate seat pick-ups, the other being Nevada.
- Three other important statewide offices were won by Democrats: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, and Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy.
- With Anne Kirkpatrick’s seat pick-up in the 2nd Congressional District, Arizona’s congressional delegation is now majority Democratic (5 out of 9 districts).
- The Arizona State House drew within 2 seats of turning “blue”. It is now 31 Republicans to 29 Democrats (previously 35 Republicans to 25 Democrats).
- A key “school voucher expansion” ballot initiative, Prop 305, broadly opposed by teachers, lost badly.
Not everything went our way. Some bad, less publicized ballot initiatives won, the Arizona Senate remained 17R to 13D and the Governor’s race went to the incumbent Republican. But the overall trend showed the potential for positive change when the Arizona population is mobilized.
What’s next for us in Arizona?
While volunteers played a big role in the positive results, Arizona could clearly benefit from further infrastructure development, particularly to take advantage of untapped volunteer abilities.
During our 2018 work in Arizona, we had the opportunity to collect extensive feedback on what was being done in campaigns and on ideas for future improvements. We interviewed more than 100 members of the Democratic and progressive community. While our focus is primarily on volunteers, we also looked at more ways to improve campaigns and to develop year-round operations that would help the community do better in future campaign cycles.
Based on our experience and discussion with stakeholders, we have developed a proposal for a project in Arizona to revamp the infrastructure by building and managing volunteer working groups during the “off” year of 2019, in preparation for the all-important 2020 campaign cycle.