Here’s what KTAR News learned from Arizona Votes 2024: One Year Out
Nov 10, 2023, 4:00 PM
PHOENIX — KTAR News spent the past week examining what the political climate will look like in Arizona a year out from the 2024 election.
Here’s what we learned from Arizona Votes 2024: One Year Out:
Arizona has been a political player for years, but the 2024 election cycle could take the once Republican-heavy state to new heights in terms of its importance.
The Grand Canyon State could have the most impact in determining the presidential race and the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.
Longtime Valley political expert and former state lawmaker Stan Barnes of Copper State Consulting Group says it might seem that Arizona is patting itself on the back when it comes to political importance, but believes the state has arrived at a pivotal moment.
“Some of it in the past I felt was a little fluffed up but now I believe we’re everything we say we are,” Barnes said.
The race for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat will certainly grab headlines in 2024, but the state legislature could also see a serious shift.
For years, Republicans have controlled both Arizona’s House and Senate. That’s still the case, but now they only have a one-seat majority in each chamber.
Political consultant Emily Ryan said the state’s Democratic Party has been targeting both for a while now.
“They’ve never been able to flip a chamber, but they’ve gotten the numbers pretty even,” she said. “I think that they have a chance of flipping at least one chamber if they stay focused.”
Abortion rights and the economy are expected to be the two most important issues to Arizona voters heading into the 2024 election.
It’s still unclear if abortion rights will be on the ballot in Arizona next year, but a coalition of abortion rights groups are working to gather signatures.
Chief pollster Paul Bentz with HighGround Consulting expects that charge will be successful.
“If you have something like abortion on the ballot, it may bring more of those younger voters out who may not choose to participate otherwise,” Bentz said.
Arizona has bucked the trend of its historically Republican image as Independent voters narrowly outnumber both Republicans and Democrats in the state.
That becomes especially important as the 2024 election looms and as Arizona once again finds itself as a major political player in the national spotlight.
Bill Gates is familiar with misinformation on the personal and professional level.
The Maricopa County supervisor was the board’s chairman in 2022, overseeing that year’s election. As a result, he became a target for claims of election interference and threats of violence.
With the 2024 election a year away, misinformation remains a major problem in Arizona and while solutions for the disturbing trend are present, are hard to achieve.
“It’s not accidental. There is some intent in spreading this misinformation,” Gates said. “That’s sort of what makes it misinformation.”
Gates also says it wasn’t former President Donald Trump who brought misinformation to Arizona elections, but rather actors in the last election cycle, including Republican Kari Lake.