Arizona’s razor-thin statehouse margins make it a prime target for Democrats hoping to turn the state blue in November’s midterm elections.
The Republicans control the Arizona Senate with a 16-14 advantage and hold the House by a 31-29 margin. In a year with highly competitive races for governor and U.S. Senate in the state, Democrats sense an opportunity to turn the tide in a state that has been under Republican control for nearly a decade and a half.
“In a crucial election year, flipping a single Senate seat would end the right’s unchecked control of the legislature and put 11 electoral votes out of reach of any attempt to steal the 2024 presidential election,” said the States Project, an outside group that spends money for Democrats in state-level races, Arizona said.
Election issues are front and center for many statewide Democrats following the 2020 presidential election. Abortion is also a key issue in the state, as the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v Wade gave the states a lot more leeway on the issue. GOP Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation this year that allows abortion in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, while a more than 100-year-old law banning abortion is stalled in court.
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However, if the Democrats manage to gain control of the state, which is within the realm of possibility, they might be able to repeal all limits on abortion.
A Fox News poll last month showed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs leading Republican Kari Lake among registered voters.
“I will never stop fighting for our reproductive rights, while Kari Lake will uphold Arizona’s draconian abortion ban that will endanger women and imprison their doctors,” Hobbs said in a recent press release. .
Despite the proximity of the current legislature, Republicans are confident in their ability to hold Arizona. Republicans point to the disorganization of their Democratic opponents, a tougher national political environment for Democrats and a more Republican-friendly map after the redistricting.
Still, Arizona is one of many states that could see dramatic political changes depending on the outcome of the midterm elections. Director of the University of Virginia Center for Policy Larry Sabato told Fox News Digital that election rules and abortion are two of the biggest issues at the state level.
Sabato said the Supreme Court abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, “underscored the critical and growing importance of state legislatures.” He also said Republicans have a chance to expand their control over state homes this year.
“Holding his own would be enough for the GOP,” Sabato said. “Democrats need to get the party started, but it’s been a tough year for them to start.”
The GOP group tasked with securing victories for the party at the state level is the Republican State Leadership Committee (RLSC), and it also sees a chance to advance conservative policies in this election.
“The stakes in the 2022 state legislative elections could not be higher for working families worried about their economic and physical safety following the failure of Joe Biden’s policies, which were emulated by his Democratic allies. of state,” RSLC communications director Andrew Romeo told Fox. Digital News.
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“Our number one priority this year is to defend our Republican majorities like razors because they are the last line of defense against Democrats importing Biden’s dangerous agenda into every corner of the country,” Romeo added. “We’re also excited about the multiple opportunities we have to break the Democratic trifecta and end sweeping tax hikes and soft-on-crime policies.”
Outside of Arizona, the RSLC includes Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota Senate and New Hampshire as its top defensive targets this cycle. Offensively, the group says Republicans have a chance to topple Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Washington Houses and Minnesota Houses.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee did not respond to a request for comment for this story. However, his website, “RepublicanInsurrectionists.com”, highlights what appear to be his main issues – voting rights and elections. It also highlights states that are its top priority, including Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota and Nevada.
In Michigan, Republicans could aim for tax cuts if they can defend their majority and get help from the top polls.
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Michigan has a Democratic governor who is in a competitive re-election race with a GOP Senate and a tightly divided state House of Representatives. Republicans proposed major tax cut legislation in 2022, but Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed it. If the GOP retains control, Republicans might be able to push through their tax bill. Michigan has also experienced controversy over its 2020 presidential election.
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Minnesota’s legislature is divided into a GOP Senate and a Democratic House. If Democrats manage to take the Senate, it may make it easier for them to pass the tax increases they have pushed for in recent years — including a $1.2 billion proposal from 2019, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
However, if the GOP takes over the House, Republicans could try to restrict abortion by putting a constitutional amendment before voters — with no say from the state’s Democratic governor.
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