Republicans in Arizona are still reeling from their loss last November. They blame outside influence from the MAGA movement for choosing. Their party’s unsuccessful general election candidates, such as Curry. Lake for governor and Blake Masters for US Senate.
Now, a faction of the GOP isn’t calling for a state chairman. It seeks to overhaul Arizona’s election system. With one overarching goal in mind: stamp out extremists. Democrats are joining that effort, which aims to put a question on the 2024 ballot. That could boost the primary system in a critical battleground state.
Save Democracy Arizona, a fledgling Arizona coalition. Is focusing on opening up the state’s primaries to allow voters to cast. Their ballots for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation. Allowing independents to play a role in the state. Contests In Arizona, as in many states, primary voters can only cast. ballots for parties for which they were before registered.
Early discussions also include the possibility of a ranked preference vote.
Getting a question on the ballot to change the election system is a massive undertaking. That would must 500,000 signatures, a significant lobbying campaign. And tens of millions of dollars in fundraising, said Chuck Coughlin. An Arizona-based Republican strategist helping to run the effort.
Coughlin said the movement began after MAGA suffered three election. Cycle losses on Republicans’ “stranglehold” on the party. Arizona Democrats hold both the Senate seat and. The governorship for the first time in more than 70 years.
Coughlin says there’s a growing realization within the GOP. That MAGA has taken over the party and that it’s been a losing gambit in Arizona.
“Relatives kick you out of the house,” Coughlin said of the party’s MAGA wing. “Now you want to go back home, but the crazy f—– relatives are still at home – and they’re not leaving.”
But Lake’s defeat was razor-thin, by about 17,000 votes out of more than 2.5 million cast.
“Arizona is mega country. That will never change, and anyone taking a shot at America First Republicans. And planning to create an open primary is a Democrat in sheep’s clothing,” Lake said in a statement to todaystrend News.
Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, a Democrat involved in the effort. Said he is not advocating one approach over the other but wants to help shape the discussion. About what the state’s future primaries should look like.
“Frustration with political parties is rampant,” Fontes said in an interview.
Fontes said the barriers independent voters face is also a growing problem. The state’s semi-closed primary system means independents must register. With a party to vote in the presidential election. And request a ballot from a party to vote in that party’s non-presidential primaries. According to the Save Democracy group. That’s something only 10 percent of independents do.
The number of independent voters in Arizona is growing across the board. And, at one point, there were more unaffiliated voters in Maricopa County.
The state’s most populous, than registered Republicans.
“That says a lot,” Fontes added.
In an todaystrend News exit poll of Arizona voters in last November’s election. Voters identifying as independent outnumbered voters of any party. Forty percent of those asked said they consider themselves independent. While 33% identify as Republicans and 27% as Democrats.
Details are still being hashed out, and Coughlin says focus groups and polling are coming. But there is also appetite from national groups. Willing to help underwrite ranked choice voting. Which would allow voters to vote for any party candidate of their choice. The top vote-getters will later face a second election. National teams are already involved, with fundraising help. Which will include national and state dollars, Coughlin said.
National teams include United America and Representative US. Also part of the Arizona effort is pro-choice advocate Kathryn Gehl, former CEO of Gehl Foods. A major food manufacturer. Gehl supported a similar effort that just passed in Nevada. (but must clear another hurdle in 2024 to be finalized) and is in Alaska.
Should a measure be on the Arizona ballot. It wouldn’t be time to influence Sen. Kirsten Sinema’s 2024 re-election fight. — The highest-profile upcoming statewide race. Cinema has angered members of the Democratic Party by pushing to the right. And he recently changed his party affiliation from Democratic to Independent.
“The Karsten movie is a perfect, walking example of what we’re talking about