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Could Maricopa County decide 2020 presidential election?

(Cronkite News Photo)

PHOENIX – With Arizona a likely battleground state, Maricopa County is one of 10 counties that could be the difference-makers in the 2020 presidential race, according to a recent analysis by The Hill.

The political website interviewed dozens of strategists, political scientists and observers to come up with its list of counties that will determine the outcome of the election.

The article, published Wednesday, said Republicans are worried about Maricopa County because it’s been moving to the left, and GOP candidates rarely win statewide Arizona races without winning its largest county.

Phoenix-based pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights told The Hill college-educated, middle-class voters are the keys in Maricopa County.

“It’s in these suburban areas where we are seeing the biggest shift in party voter preference,” Noble said. “Those [who] are college-educated or above is where the GOP is currently hurting.”

An OH Predictive Insights poll last month showed President Donald Trump in what was essentially a dead heat against two Democratic front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

In 2016, Trump’s edge over Hillary Clinton was about half a percentage point smaller in Maricopa County than it was statewide.

Two years later, Democrats won three statewide elections for offices previously held by Republicans: U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.

The other tipping-point counties on The Hill’s list are: Erie County, Pennsylvania; Sauk County, Wisconsin; Muskegon County, Michigan; Tarrant County, Texas; New Hanover County, North Carolina; Peach County, Georgia; Washington County, Minnesota; Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, and Lincoln County, Maine.

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