The Arizona political landscape is in turmoil with Republicans at odds over the Senate recount of Maricopa County ballots and Democrats expressing increasing displeasure with Senator Kyrsten Sinema. What could it all mean for next year’s midterm elections? We asked political consultants Chuck Coughlin of Highground and John Fetherston of Veridus.
What’s going on among the political parties right now?
“It seems like both parties are engaged in an exercise to create problems for their own party right now. So the way I look at it is I look at that, unaffiliated voter and it’s about 23% of the 22 electorate… and I end up thinking about who’s going to do best with that portion of the electorate,” Coughlin said.
Although the parties seem to be at odds, Fetherston feels like now more than ever, Arizona Democrats could be optimistic, “I think there are actually some real reasons for Democrats to put their chances here in Arizona. First of all, since 2016, we’ve been in somewhat of new politics ever since Donald Trump has been on the scene, and he’s actually not on the ballot. So, those elections have been tough points for Republicans… Donald Trump’s brand in politics does very poorly with independent and moderate voters and make no mistake, Donald Trump is still the face of the National Republican Party. So you couple that with a president that, as of last week, was polling in 58% with an incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Kelly who raised $6 million in an off year work, and it’s been a strong slate of statewide candidates in Arizona led most notably by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.”
Does Kari Lake have a chance as a Republican candidate in the governor’s race?
“I say yes… she’s a well trained reporter, she talks to the camera well, she is a vocal proponent of anger, of bitterness and frustration. Which captures the heart of that Republican primary electorate. It’s not a narrative that promotes, problem solving, which is the history of America and the party of Lincoln, the party of Reagan… there’s an opportunity there for Republicans to maybe turn it,” Coughlin said.