Journalists’ Roundtable: 10/30/20: The final campaign push

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With the most campaign appearances in recent history, Arizona’s role as a battleground state continues to play an important role in the 2020 election. To talk about that alongside Ted Simmons on this week’s Journalists’ Roundtable: Maria Polletta of The Arizona Republic and Steve Goldstein of KJZZ.

This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • Final Campaign Push
  • Trump and McSally
  • School Covid Guidelines Change

Final Campaign Push

Maria Polletta: “I believe when The Arizona Republic tallied up the combination of visits this year, it was more than in any recent year that we’ve been tracking this, at least 11 I believe. This wasn’t happening earlier when Arizona was considered a reliably red state and we’re seeing that in this final push as Republicans and Democrats are competing for those key voters, key demographics, and trying to get people who haven’t voted or been super involved before to vote for their side. “

Steve Goldstein: “It’s really interesting. It really shows the dichotomy between the campaigns in terms of how they feel about the pandemic. The president, of course, there was that’s so-called super spreader event a few weeks ago at the white house. The president is really big on having these rallies because it’s almost like he feeds off that energy, whereas the Biden-Harris ticket is really saying ‘listen, this is really serious, we’re being cautious for a good reason because the pandemic is still very much with us.’ We’re seeing that reflected in the campaign but also on the campaign trail.”

Trump and McSally

Steve Goldstein: “We said that what else do you expect from him? That’s sort of how he is — he’s out for himself. But why would you travel to Arizona — I know he’s suring up his vote — but why travel to Arizona and plug Rand Paul and Mike Lee: Rand Paul is from Kentucky, and Mike Lee is from Utah and then rush Martha McSally out in what, I think, the average person would characterize as a very rude, disrespectful way.”

Maria Polletta: “Trump has said very frankly he doesn’t like losers; he likes to be with winners. And we’ve seen McSally not looking great in the polls in her Senate race, so we also heard that maybe that at this point, Trump doesn’t have a lot of concern for down-ballot races that are not about him. But certainly, it wasn’t something helpful to McSally’s campaign or something respectful or acknowledging the fact that she really stood beside him and voted with him, I believe, 95% of the time.”

School Covid Guidelines Change

The Arizona Department of Health Services made new guidelines for school operations during the pandemic. There would have to be a virus spread at a “substantial” level in three metrics before the state recommends schools shift to virtual learning. The decision drew controversy from the Arizona Department of Education, who were not consulted in the decision.

Maria Polletta: “There was concern that this isn’t something that was in the best interest of students and teachers or not asked for by the majority of them.”

Steve Goldstein: “This was a clear sign that Superintendant [Kathy] Hoffman and Governor Doug Ducey and Director Chris, who have all been working, at least publicly, pretty well together. This was a sign that there might be cracks in that foundation.”

Maria Polletta, The Arizona Republic; Steve Goldstein, KJZZ; Eliana Pipes, Playwright, Actress, and Filmmaker

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