And while there are examples of major changes where the state sends two Senate Democrats for the first time in decades, it’s far too early to declare the state blue. Instead, officials from both parties agree that the election was clearly a referendum on Mr Trump, the most divisive president in recent history.
“It’s certainly not blue, and I’m not even sure if it’s purple, magenta, or the lightest shade of red,” said Mike Noble, the lead poller for OH Predictive Insights, a non-partisan research group based in Phoenix. “If there had been such a democratic upswing, we would have seen votes, but you didn’t see the effects.”
Instead, the Democrats missed their goal of changing multiple seats in the state parliament, which could have given them control of both chambers. And just like Krysten Sinema in 2018, Mark Kelly won his Senate race by portraying himself as a centrist and holding up John McCain as a model leader.
But Democrats and progressives in the state say they still see the election as a justification for decades of efforts to push Arizona to the left. They won several labor lawsuits, including one that levied taxes to send more money to public schools. Both Mr Biden and Mr Kelly won with a coalition of white women, young and new Latino voters, and suburban moderates who were rejected by the president’s actions.
“Arizona is going to be very complicated from a political perspective, but I don’t think the public will agree with the current Republican leadership,” said Ian Danley, a longtime liberal organizer and executive director of Arizona Wins who coordinated the work of more than two dozen organizations, who were involved in public relations. Like other activists in the state, Mr. Danley credits local groups more than the state or the national Democratic Party. “Here we are offering some kind of model, but we are not democrats, we are not walking around with a democratic flag or even a candidate. Ultimately, voters do not always associate the problems with the party, that is a division that needs to be resolved. “