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The Think Tank discusses long-term Arizona political trends

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To some extent, our electoral results depend on who the candidates are, how they perform and the issues of the moment. All of these are hard to predict in advance.

But there are larger forces which define the political environment. And these are known well in advance of any election. These include demographic trends and enduring shifts in party identification. And, while these often evolve so slowly that they are hardly noticeable in a given year, their impacts can be dramatic over time.

This week’s Think Tank has assembled a crack team of data nerds, including your host, to discuss the latter. So, we won’t focus on today’s headlines, but long-term changes in the Arizona political landscape which define what Arizona is politically and what it is likely to become.

  • Arizona in recent decades has been a safe “red” (Republican) state. But there have been some conspicuous Democratic victories of late. Are these aberrations, or part of a long-term trend that may have turned Arizona “purple” (competitive) and might ultimately turn the state “blue” (Democratic)?
  • What do we know about Hispanic voting trends, especially in turnout (which has lagged other voters)?
  • How likely is it that Arizona will get a 10th congressional seat after reapportionment based on the 2020 Census?
  • With or without that 10th congressional seat, district boundaries for Congress and the state legislature will be changed. What impact will these changes have on our politics?

Our guests are:

  • Tony Sissons is the owner and president of Research Advisory Services in Phoenix. He is a geodemographer specializing in expert opinion on population growth, socioeconomic characteristics, political redistricting,and voting rights data analysis.
  • Paul Bentz is senior vice president for research and strategy for Arizona Highground, which means he is their numbers guy.
  • Garrett Archer is a political reporter for ABC 15 in Phoenix. He was previously senior analyst and chief data guru for the Arizona Secretary of State. In that role he acquired a cultlike following on Twitter as the Arizona Data Guru. I know. I was part of the cult.

The Think Tank airs on KTAR 92.3 FM on Saturdays 3-4 p.m. and repeats Sundays 9-10 p.m.

Podcasts are available after broadcast.

The Think Tank

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