In any other election year, Arizona wouldn't be considered a swing state, and the Democratic presidential nominee wouldn't be campaigning here just days before the nation turns out to vote. But as has proven to be true time and time again, this election year is anything but normal.
Case in point, Hillary Clinton just announced that that she'll be making a campaign stop at Arizona State University on Wednesday evening.
Billed as an "Early Vote Rally," the event will be at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.; the program begins at 6:30. (More information is available here.)
"Clinton will lay out what is at stake in the election," reads a statement emailed by her campaign. "While she will be a president who knows that we are stronger together, Donald Trump set the tone of his campaign by insulting Mexican immigrants and has continued those insults and divisive comments throughout the campaign. From Muslims to Gold Star families to a judge of Mexican heritage born in America to one of his own African-American supporters just this past week, no one has been safe from Trump’s insults and lies."
Clinton's visit comes right after Trump's seventh visit to the state and marks the Democrats' latest foray into this traditionally Republican territory. Arizona hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 20 years, but the Dems are making a big last-minute push here.
In addition to Clinton, vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine will make appearances in Phoenix and Tucson on Thursday, and earlier this month, Democratic superstars Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders held rallies in the state. The party also invested in a strong ground game to register new voters and pledged $2 million in ad buys.
"We've been telling folks for a long time that Arizona is in play, and that it's going to be a big year for Democrats all way down the ballot," Sheila Healy, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party told New Times earlier this summer.
But with polls showing Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump neck and neck — particularly in the wake of the latest round of the never-ending email scandal — whether Healy and other Dems get their way will depend largely on voter turnout.
Historically, Republicans have had higher turnout rates in Arizona, and for the Democrats to win, they'll need key demographic groups, like Latinos and millennials, to show up at the polls. Between Clinton's rally at ASU (the country's largest public university) and Kaine's Spanish-language event this week, the Democrats are clearly working for those votes.
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