Democrats have a chance to take AZ Senate for first time in 30 years

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 8:24 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “There is some uncertainly on how the legislature is going to look at this point,” said Doug Cole, the COO of AZ Highground, Inc., a political consulting firm in Phoenix.

Some races were very close as we talked, like in State Senate District 17 which could determine the balance of power in the state’s upper chamber.

“It could go Democratic, or go 15-15, stay the same 16-14 Republican,” he said. “The last time the senate was Democrat was 1991 to 1992 and the last time it was 15-15 was 2000.”

District 17 is split between Pinal County a Republican stronghold and Pima County which heavily favors Democrats.

There are other examples of races which are head scratchers, or dead heats or big surprises in this election cycle. In midterms there are generally not many surprises because the turnout is low but there is a trend which became apparent in the last election and has carried over. “I think we’re seeing Arizona voters going race by race and a lot of people are not just voting straight ticket,” Cole said. People were under voting, they sat out major races, they just couldn’t force themselves to vote for either candidate.”

“In race after race, thousands of voters filled out some races and just left others blank. In some races as many as 25,000 or more, and in some cases, actually switched parties.

“I can make a very strong statement that a lot of people in the Secretary of State’s race were not voting for Adrian Fontes,” he said. “They were voting against Mark Finchem’s election denialism.”

In an election which should have been a slam dunk for Republicans, as most midterms are a referendum on the party in power, many of the people were motivated by issues like reproductive rights or border issues, which determined who they cast ballots for. “As we have seen in last two cycles a lot of the standard assumptions, but you and I have made in our long political careers have been thrown out of the window,” Cole said.

And one of those assumptions is having the slightest clue as to how voters tend to vote.