We have all heard the media tout over and over again the now-debunked myth of a ‘red wave’ this cycle. What we are not yet hearing widely is the fact that, in Arizona, we seem to have experienced a definitive Blue Tide, instead. The story that the media should be telling about this election is one of the AZGOP’s near-total electoral collapse in Arizona; not just a failure of their ‘red wave’, but the definitive arrival of Arizona’s Blue Tide.
We all know that Arizona has been growing more competitive in recent years and become a key swing state in national elections, as evidenced by Biden’s narrow win in 2020. But also, statewide, congressional, and state lege offices have become more competitive, and Democrats (at least in name… ::cough:: Sinema ::cough::) have captured both U.S. Senate seats, the majority of AZ congressional delegation seats, the Secretary of State office and the AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction. Plus, our state legislature was only held by the AZGOP by a single seat in both chambers. One could witness Democratic boats clearly rising for several years now, but it now appears that the AZGOP have capsized or scuttled most of their own boats, upon the arrival of the AZDems Blue Tide.
AZDems appear poised to take EVERY statewide office (except for Treasurer and the Corporation Commission… oh, and State Mine Inspector [which is more environmentally vital than you might suspect]). That is rather a remarkable and unquestionable repudiation of the ‘red wave’ theory of this election. Every vote must be counted, but it is looking more and more definitive that Lake, Finchem, Hammedeh, Horne, and Masters will not be able to make up the current Democratic vote advantages.
In the AZLege and Congressional races the story is less encouraging, but there is one, and ONLY one, reason that AZDems were unable to keep or capture legislative and congressional delegation majorities: redistricting. The AZGOP only kept or expanded its legislative power in AZ because (like several other states, and possibly Congress overall) of gerrymandering an advantage for themselves. Gov Doug Ducey stacked the Independent Redistricting Commission with a right-wing ringer in the ‘independent’ chairperson position and was thereby able to adopt congressional and legislative maps that were, by any measure, gerrymandered to preserve (in the state map) or create (in the congressional map) an AZGOP advantage.
It is still possible, as of this writing, that AZDems may achieve a tie in the AZ Senate, if we are able to pull ahead in very close races in LDs 2 and 13, but that’s far from assured.
The AZGOP will likely tout their state legislative and congressional gains here in AZ as evidence that their ‘red wave’ arrived after all, but it’s utter bullshit. The only reason they held on in legislative and congressional contests is because they cheated. And in the elections to come, the Blue Tide will continue to climb higher, especially as long as the AZGOP and the national party remain dedicated to Trump, Trumpism, election denial, conspiracy theories, bigotry, sexism, racism, and lies, instead of providing rational policies and real results that benefit our citizens.