Arizona is now a make-or-break state for Joe Biden to beat Trump. Here’s why

Elvia Díaz Arizona Republic

Opinion: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Democrat Joe Biden must win Arizona to win the White House. That won’t be easy.

Arizona is now the “tipping-point state” in the race for the White House between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.

That’s the latest assessment of FiveThiryEight founder Nate Silver, whose election modeling based on national polls gives Biden the edge over President Trump.

The roadmap to victory, though, isn’t in the popular vote but rather in the magical 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

In Silver’s calculations, Democrat Joe Biden’s 270 electoral votes would come from key states, including Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan. He’s losing ground in Pennsylvania and Florida to Trump.

“This is a winning map for Biden, but it’s precarious,” concluded Silver, whose electoral map shows the competitiveness for those coveted electoral votes.

Trump has gone dark in Arizona

Arizona, which has 11 electoral votes, has traditionally supported Republicans. The only Democrat to win the state in recent history was Bill Clinton in 1996.

Stunningly, the Trump campaign last week went dark in Arizona and other states pulling its September ad-buy. The New York Times reported this week the Trump campaign has effectively blown through its $1.1 billion budget, which might explain the media-buy removal.

Trump said on Twitter that his campaign had raised a lot of money but had to spend it to defend himself to counter attacks from the “Fake News reporting” on how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic.

“Like I did in the 2016 Primaries, if more money is needed, which I doubt it will be, I will put it up!” Trump said in a tweet.

Trump may be running low on cash, but don’t count him out and don’t expect him to give up Arizona without a fight. Trump will aggressively keep using Twitter and don’t be surprised if he makes a few more visits to the Grand Canyon state.

Latinos could help Biden’s uphill battle

The Biden campaign and those wanting to defeat Trump can’t take anything for granted, and they don’t appear to be doing so.

LUCHA and other Latino groups vowed this week to reach one million Arizona voters through the November election.

The coalition will reach out to voters of color and voters under 35 through phone calls, text messages and digital ads, Abril Gallardo, communications director of LUCHA or Latinos United for Change in Arizona, said in an email.

The #LUCHABlue2020 campaign is aimed “to defeat Trump and elect progressives up and down the ballot in November,” Gallardo said.

Biden undoubtedly needs all the help he can get in Arizona because Silver is right. Biden’s roadmap to victory is precarious, even when national polls give him the edge with the popular vote.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/elviadiaz/2020/09/08/arizona-now-make-break-state-biden-beat-trump/5752467002/

Creosote Partners is an Arizona firm focused on legislative advocacy, coalition building, and strategic communications.

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