The state of Arizona has served as a southwestern firewall for Republicans for decades, voting for a Democratic presidential candidate only once since 1948. But it appears that Republicans are heading for a defeat in the once-solid red state due to President Donald Trump’s incompetence in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As noted by Reuters, a surge of coronavirus cases in the state and Trump’s disastrous response to the crisis have pushed people who voted for the president in 2016 to support Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
An Arizona man who voted for President Donald Trump back in 2016 has seen enough of the erratic president and is ready to vote for the former Vice President in November.
Another voter, 65-year-old Arizona resident Randy Olsen told Reuters that the president’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed him to vote for Biden this fall.
“He’s disrespecting the experts,” Olsen said, referring to Trump’s refusal to wear a face mask. “He’s looking out for himself only and isn’t looking out for anybody else.”
Chuck Coughlin, a Republican strategist in Phoenix, said that Olsen is not the only older Republican voter that the president has been losing thanks to his handling of the disease.
“I expect it’s very damaging with that portion of the electorate that Trump needs to persuade,” he said.
Arizona has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and the state on Tuesday reported a single-day record of 117 deaths from the disease.
Chad Campbell, a former Democratic state lawmaker, says that Trump’s botched handling of the pandemic has left the door wide open for Biden.
“The fact that Donald Trump is spending time and money here this early on shows you how much trouble he’s in,” he said.
Read more on Reuters.