Journalists’ Roundtable: The final weeks of Arizona’s 2020 election season

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In the final weeks of the election season, President Donald Trump makes another stop in Arizona as COVID-19 cases are rising in the state. To talk about that on this week’s Journalists’ Roundtable: Laurie Roberts of The Arizona Republic and Howie Fischer from Capitol Media Services.

This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • The president’s visit to Arizona 
  • Covid-19 cases on the rise
  • Record-breaking early voting

President Visits Arizona Again

Laurie Roberts: “I don’t know that at this point, you are going to change many minds. The name of the game this week and next week is get those people to vote, get those ballots in. And so I would assume that was the purpose of this event.”

Howie Fischer: “I think that McSally, while she has tried to cozy up to the president, I think he has always been a little suspicious that she’s not the loyalist he expects from his people there. He wants absolute, 100%, every time loyalty. She is there to suggest that perhaps that it was wrong of him to criticize John McCain.

Covid-19 Cases on the Rise

Laurie Roberts: “September 24 was [Gov. Doug Ducey’s] last. You remember at the beginning of this he was all over. He was out front all of the time. And that changed in September. And I have to think as the election gets closer and we have a president who says ‘Arizona doesn’t have a problem anymore, we’re in great shape’ — even as our numbers are starting to rise. Well, you’re not going to have the governor two weeks before an election holding a briefing to say, ‘well maybe we’re not in great shape as we appeared to be.’ So he [has] sort of done a disappearing act.

Record-Breaking Early Voting

Laurie Roberts: “As of this morning 1.4 million Arizonans have returned their ballots, now we have just under 4 million voters, so that’s about a 33% turnout — a clear majority of those votes are Democratic. However, I will say I would expect the Republicans to start catching up. This time four years ago, this coming week is the week traditionally when more of the Republican ballots come in. So they may well make up that difference, but as of right now, more Democrats are returning their early ballots than Republicans, and that’s a switch from in the past year.”

Howie Fischer: “How many people are really undecided at this point? I mean, we had the debates last night for the 12 people in Arizona who haven’t figured out the difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.”


Laurie Roberts, The Arizona Republic; Howie Fischer, Capitol Media Services;

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