See 2012 Battleground States for brief analyses of a dozen key states in the 2012 elections, and predictions as to who could win those states.
How Arizona Votes: Red State or Blue State?
Although Arizonans voted for Republican favorite son John McCain in 2008 and twice supported Texan George W. Bush, Democrats believe that Grand Canyon state voters are ripe to vote to reelect Democratic President Obama largely due to the state's explosive growth of its the Hispanic population.
During the decade between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census, Hispanic residents of Arizona increased 46.3%, to comprise 29.6% of all Grand Canyon state residents... the nation's 4th highest Hispanic state percentage population, behind only California, Texas and New Mexico.
At the 2008 ballot box, 56% of Arizona Hispanics voted for Democrat Obama, and only 41% voted for Republican McCain.
In the last four presidential elections, Arizona voted as follows:
- 2008 - 54% for Republican McCain, 45% for Democrat Obama
- 2004 - 55% for Republican Bush, 44% for Democrat Kerry
- 2000 - 51% for Republican Bush, 45% for Democrat Gore
- 1996 - 47% for Democrat Clinton, 44% for Republican Dole, 9% for Other
Summary of Top Issues in Arizona
Immigration enforcement and reform is a red-hot issue in border state Arizona. State conservatives have long pushed for strict immigration enforcement by local authorities, and are angered that recent U.S. presidents have not strongly policed the US-Mexico border.
Arizona Democrats, though, deplore and decry discrimination against Hispanics by state and local authorities, and advocate for immigration reform that provides a path to legalization for undocument workers and their families.
Since 13.8% of Arizonans are senior citizens, another important election year issue in Arizona are Republican threats to slash Social Security and Medicare.
Largely due to new homes built to accommodate the state's 25% increase in population over the last ten years, Arizonans are suffering through the the second highest home foreclosure rate in the nation, 1 in 205 homes.
Thus, the economy, home foreclosures and real estate values are of great concern in Arizona.
Arizona Economic Facts and Voter Demographics
Unemployment Rate as of June 2011 - 9.3%, just above the national average and ranking 16th among all states.
Foreclosure Rates as of June 2011 - Arizonans are suffering the second highest home foreclosure rate in the nation, 1 in 205 homes, which is will above the national foreclosure average of 1 of 583 homes.
State Residents Living Below Poverty-Level Income - Arizona has a high poverty-level rate, 14.7%, which ranks 13th among all states. Poverty in Arizona is concentrated among its Native-American and Hispanic populations.
Hispanic Population - Arizona has one of the nation's highest Hispanic populations, 29.6% of all Grand Canyon state residents, which ranks 4th among all states, behind only western states California, Texas and New Mexico, and just ahead of Nevada and Colorado.
Senior Citizen Population - 13.8% of Arizonans are over 65 years old, a fairly high percentage, and ranking #18 among all states.
Labor Union Membership - 254,000 of Arizona workers, 9.8% of all workers in the state, are labor union members, which gives labor unions some influence over state politics.
Women as a Percentage of Arizona's Population - 50.3% of Arizona residents are women, which ranks 39th among all states.
African-American Population - Only 4% of Arizona residents are of African-American heritage, which ranks 33rd among all states.