As a conservative who has experienced the ups and downs of politics in various states, I can’t help but notice the decline of the Arizona Republican party over the years. When I left for California in 1996, the Arizona GOP was a well-organized force, but upon my return five years ago, I found it in disarray, much like the California GOP I had encountered earlier. The shift in demographics is often blamed, but there are deeper issues at play.
The rise of Democrats winning Senate seats in Arizona, including Kyrsten Sinema in 2018, reflects the GOP’s failures in the state. The party’s lack of strong leadership and a solid bench of candidates has been evident, leaving them with weak options in crucial races. Even well-liked candidates like Martha McSally struggled to gain traction in statewide elections.
The financial situation of the Arizona GOP is also concerning. With dwindling cash reserves and questionable spending on consulting, the party is not in a strong position to fund essential expenses and campaign operations. The focus on overturning the 2020 election results instead of building a viable strategy for the future has left them with a Democratic governor and Senate delegation.
Moreover, the growing number of independent voters in Arizona highlights the need for the GOP to appeal to a broader base beyond just the party’s core supporters. Fiery rhetoric alone won’t be enough to win elections in a state where independent voters hold significant sway.
While there’s hope in the fact that much of Arizona’s congressional delegation is conservative, rebuilding the party’s reputation and financial stability will take time and effort. With Kyrsten Sinema’s seat up for grabs in the next election, the GOP has a unique opportunity to regain ground. The potential candidacy of recently retired Governor Doug Ducey has garnered interest, and while it’s uncertain if he will run, it’s a prospect worth considering.
With new leadership in the form of chairman Jeff DeWit, there’s a glimmer of hope for the Arizona GOP. However, predicting the political landscape in Arizona is challenging, as it remains fluid and unpredictable. What’s clear is that the party must address its shortcomings, develop a strong bench of candidates, and adopt a more inclusive approach to appeal to a broader electorate. Only then can it hope to regain its former strength and thrive in the ever-changing political landscape of the Grand Canyon State.