Legislative Update

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Keep up on the latest from the state capitol in our weekly legislative update with a reporter from the Arizona Capitol Times.

Ted Simons: Coming up next on "Arizona Horizon" -- big wins for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are overshadowed by long lines at presidential primary voting places. We'll hear what state lawmakers have to say about the long lines in our weekly legislative update. Those stories next on "Arizona Horizon."

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Ted Simons: Good evening. Welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Maricopa County recorder Helen Purcell said bad decisions are to blame for long lines at many polling places in Maricopa County during yesterday's preferential presidential election. Some waited as long as midnight to cast a ballot. Purcell says that she takes responsibility for advising the County to drastically cut the number of polling places as a cost saving measure and that she didn't anticipate so many Independents attempting to vote along with those who chose to vote in person as opposed to by mail. Purcell also says that she will not resign. Governor Ducey said today that it's unacceptable that Arizonans had to wait so long to vote. He also said the law needs to be changed to allow Independents to vote in presidential primary elections. And Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has called on the U.S. Justice Department to look into yesterday's voting problems. Stanton called the situation a "fiasco" and noted that Phoenix had a disproportionately smaller number of polling places compared to more Anglo dominated suburbs including Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills. Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton wound up with convincing wins. Here to analyze and review the results, Stan Barnes and John Loredo. Good to have you both here.

John Loredo: Good to be here.

Ted Simons: Trump, Clinton, big wins? Big surprise?

Stan Barnes: Not among insiders. No. It wasn't a surprise. All the polling had said this is the way it would turn out. The surprise for me if you drill down was that Bernie Sanders spent a lot of time in Arizona and a lot of money and didn't break 40%. Which I think is an interesting phenomenon. My Democratic friend explained maybe why that is. Donald Trump won 14 out of 15 counties. I think he lost Grand County.

Ted Simons: Interesting.

Stan Barnes: So no surprise.

Ted Simons: We'll get to Trump in a second; let's get to Clinton and Sanders. Sanders did make a very strong push late. Why did he do that and what happen?

John Loredo: Well, I think Arizona has a later primary and I think that heading into the primary here in Arizona; there was a feeling that this actually will play out longer than maybe some people thought it would. So he did make a big push here. Clinton did the same. This has always been a very kind of pro Clinton state; President Bill Clinton won the state twice. They have just got kind of great support here in Arizona. So it wasn't too big of a surprise.

Ted Simons: Sounds like women and minorities were big for Clinton. Make sense?

John Loredo: I think so, but we don't really know any data from the County at this point, so it's hard to tell. It looks as if the same relatively the same number of people who voted in 2012 voted this year as well. So there shouldn't have been my big surprises from anyone looking at the data.

Ted Simons: As far as Trump is concerned, did Republicans vote for Trump or against the field?

Stan Barnes: I think more for Trump. Trump got just under 50%, 46, 47%. I think that was a pro Trump vote. You might say there's some statistical backing to that because a lot of votes were for candidates that are no longer in the race. Some mailed in a Rubio vote and it had a null effect. I think Trump earned his 46 or 47%. The 58 delegates helped ensure that he's actually going to get to the requisite number before Cleveland when the convention happens.

Ted Simons: We're looking at the results here. Trump at 47, Cruz 25, Rubio no longer in the race at 13. John Kasich, who seems like the moderate choice, Arizona does have a contingent of folks who are center right as opposed to far right. He didn't try.

Stan Barnes: I think the moderates turned out and voted, both of them. [Laughter] Bad joke. No, I think Kasich surrendered Arizona based on the swallowing of the Republican Party by the movement that is Donald Trump and the echo movement of Ted Cruz. Both those guys are counter insurgency. One farther outside the circle of power than the other. They just swallow up most of the vote. It didn't take too much intelligence and polling to see Kasich had to spend his money somewhere else. He didn't have all the dollars in the world. He needed to prioritize.

Ted Simons: As far as the Democrats are concerned, pragmatist vote here, Clinton has the best chance to win, thus Clinton gets our vote?

John Loredo: I don't think so. It's hard to tell. Bernie has a lot of grass roots support here, but there were big pushes at the very end, not a whole lot of campaigning beforehand. I think that I suspect that both camps probably thought that there would be a little clearer who the overall winner would be by now so typically Arizona is later in the primary and so you don't get a whole lot of attention. So yeah.

Ted Simons: Did anything happen Tuesday that makes you think that Hillary Clinton can take Arizona in the general?

John Loredo: Yes.

Ted Simons: Talk to us.

John Loredo: Donald Trump won. [Laughter] Donald Trump is winning. I think if Donald Trump is the nominee you'll see Clinton if she's the nominee take Arizona. I think that really changes the dynamic and puts Arizona in play. Especially when you look at what support Trump has with Latinos and young voters in particular and women, it's not good for Donald at all. They are through the roof for anybody but Donald. That puts Arizona in play.

Ted Simons: You agree?

Stan Barnes: Not necessarily, I had not actually thought about Arizona in a Hillary versus Donald race. This campaign has told us consultant types the rule book no longer applies. We're like old generals fighting the last war. I'm going to put that through the filter. Trump is going to do things that no other Republican normally does. He's going to get more of the African-American vote than a normal Republican does. We don't have a lot of that in Arizona, but I think the anti-Trump thing outside of the Republican Party is greatly exaggerated. I think it's so hard to predict where an Independent -- he really is an Independent running in the Republican apparatus. Where will he go with that vote? Hillary's negatives, how will they play? It's hard to say.

Ted Simons: Regarding those negatives and the idea that Trump is such a wildcard, not such a wildcard with older white male Reagan Democrats, call them what you will, they are flocking to Donald Trump. Some of these folks cannot stand Hillary Clinton. It's an interesting balance there, is it not?

John Loredo: They are in the minority in the American electorate. Shrinking rapidly. You look at minorities, you look at women voters of all stripes, Donald Trump does not do well with Republican women. They are the biggest section of the voters in Arizona are women voters. That does not swing Donald Trump's way. That swings against him. He has -- I don't think there's bone nip candidate that I can ever remember that has been so unbelievably offensive towards such a broad range of voters. You can't undo that. Once it's done it's done.

Ted Simons: Not only that, I don't know of anyone -- I can't think of a range -- he even says he loves lower educated folks. I don't know who he has not insulted. How do you explain his success?

Stan Barnes: That's part of the rule. The guy attacks George W. Bush on the eve of the South Carolina primary and clobbers it in the primary. In addition to the other things. It's impossible to explain other than I'll give you this. The Fed-up level that we always talk about in elections is so palpably real the Cruz Trump universe is far and away most of the Republican voting electorate and Trump is getting a lot of Independents out. The phenomenon of higher turnout is real with Donald Trump. What does that mean in the general election? I'm not sure.

Ted Simons: Real quickly back to Trump, we had E.J. Dionne on. He's got a new book out, how the right went wrong, talking about conservatism and the problems now. He says a big reason for Trump is that for years the Republicans have courted the far right, those folks that are just simply angry at everyone to get off my lawn contingent. They promise the moon. They delivered very little. Those folks are angry and not just now with Democrats but angry at establishment Republicans for failing to deliver. Is that a valid point?

Stan Barnes: It is. I think it's inaccurate. E.J. is a great thinker, but I don't trust him to do this analysis for us. My own analysis is the Democrats are making a living out of defending poor people and undocumented and that's what they talked about all the time. The Republicans, my own party, it can be said they end up in bed with Wall Street and Big Pharma and big insurance and there's a giant swath of middle America that keeps this country going that feels like neither party is doing it for them and Trump is right there. They say I think he's an Independent running in the Republican apparatus.

Ted Simons: You think so?

John Loredo: I'm not sure what he is and I'm not sure he knows either or anyone else. But Democrats are talking about the economy here. And this -- that's what the issue is going to be about. That is Donald Trump's weakness is the economy and how he does in business. He may do very well in Republican primaries where you have much smaller, more extreme Republican primary. Those group of voters may be big enough to win a primary but not big enough to win a general election.

Ted Simons: As far as the Democrats are concerned Sanders again in Arizona, we saw the numbers. Pretty convincing for Hillary Clinton. Is he too extreme for Arizona?

John Loredo: No. I think for most voters they probably have not heard of Bernie Sanders before they election. Maybe some really dyed in the wool Democrats have. I knew who he was but for the most part people know who Hillary Clinton is. So you can't discount name I.D. and although she may be popular with that smaller group of really conservative Republican primary voters she does have popularity outside of that.

Ted Simons: She wins big. Donald Trump wins big. Last question regarding Trump. I find the whole thing very fascinating. Republican establishment, do they understand what's going on here? They have literally -- there's a disconnect between Republican establishment and Republican voters. It's quite clear. Do they get that?

Stan Barnes: They are getting it reluctantly now. Although it's my negative opinion that if Trump gets the requisite number to be the nominee he will be. But a big faction of the money and the conservative pointy heads will actually run their own candidate in the name of giving them somebody to vote for. They can't vote for Hillary. They can't vote for Trump. They can't not vote. That's an abdication. I'm afraid we'll get three people running for president in the general election no matter what scenario you come up with. Even if Trump doesn't get the requisite number. The nominee is somebody else and Trump runs as an Independent.

Ted Simons: The theory is if you get a third candidate that can take a state or two away from Hillary Clinton, no one gets 270 votes, it goes to the House of Representatives, you have a Republican president.

Stan Barnes: A third party candidate is going to take away votes from Trump, not Clinton.

Ted Simons: You don't think that's viable.

Stan Barnes: No. Those are the kinds of things being talked about this year that we have had this happen before. It was 200 years ago, but yeah, it could actually go the House of Representatives.

Ted Simons: We got couple minutes left. What happened yesterday at the at these polling places?

Stan Barnes: Yeah, we learned that the County recorders of Arizona are very important people. Decisions they make have real impact on voters. I'm sure Helen Purcell, a gracious woman who served this court very well, Maricopa County, is having the worst day of her life given the decision she made previous that she could shrink the polling places down. What a bad decision. What a bad decision. Now she's facing an election, calls for her resignation. I think that's all it is is a calculation about saving money, an estimate of who will turn out and it was wrong and now people are mad.

Ted Simons: Was it just a bad decision?

John Loredo: She knew better. Everyone did. She went to the Board of Supervisors in February and there was concern expressed on the Board, Steve Gallardo said 60 polling places was way too small a number. And predicted exactly what would happen. He was completely disregarded and they went full steam ahead. They knew better. They knew what was going to happen here. You have to remember, County elections officials are floating bills at the State Capitol to turn our elections completely into mail-in ballots. I think you probably have seen election after election they dwindle the number of polling places in spite of turnout going higher and higher and higher. I think they do that to try to change voting behavior and force people on to early ballots and its wrong.

Stan Barnes: I don't --

John Loredo: It's predictable. They have been lowering the number of polling places election after election after election. Problems at the polling places go back over and over and over. This is nothing new. It was completely predictable. You know, every cycle the press and everybody else gets shocked that it happened yet again, and there were less polling places. 200 poll places. The last presidential primary, 60 this time. You had legislative districts in the West Valley, district 29, 30, 20; they had 21 polling places during the last presidential primary election. They had two this time. Tell me that you can go from 21 to two and not expect any problems.

Stan Barnes: I don't believe it's a conspiracy. I think it was a really dumb decision by an elected official in charge of this type of thing. Other counties did not have this trouble. Maricopa County decision. Helen Purcell bears the brunt of it. Too bad.

Ted Simons: Last word on this. Conspiracy?

John Loredo: Really bad decisions. That's what it is. Bad political calculations but the ramifications here is that these issues are going to the Department of Justice. Arizona couple of years ago lost their section 5 pre-clearance. Section 5 still exists. You have to requalify by showing a pattern of abuse here. This is a glaring one. You couple this with ballot collection bill and all of the other things they have done I predict that DOJ will level the hammer at Arizona. They have got them dead to rights and the end result is going to be another section 5 for Arizona eventually.

Ted Simons: All right, we got to stop it there. Great conversation. Good to have you both here. Thanks for joining us.

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