In the 2012 election, Republican candidate Mitt Romney bested President Barack Obama in Arizona. The final outcome was 53.48 percent for Romney and 44.45 percent for Obama -- numbers that very nearly matched the election results from 2008, when Obama ran against Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Democrats haven't won in Arizona since 1996, when President Bill Clinton pipped Kansas Sen. Bob Dole by just over 2 percentage points, with the help of Ross Perot. Clinton was the first Democrat to win Arizona since Harry Truman. Democrats should really not be getting within a country mile of winning Arizona.
But according to Public Policy Polling's fresh survey of the state, "McCain In Deep Trouble in GOP Primary; Trump, Clinton Close in AZ." Interesting! How close, pray tell?
The Presidential election is pretty competitive in Arizona at this point. Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton just 40-38, with Gary Johnson at 6% and Jill Stein at 2%. There's a significant 'Never Trump' contingent among Arizona Republicans. While Clinton gets 80% of the Democratic vote, Trump is only getting 68% of the GOP vote at this stage. That number tracks with our finding that just 65% of Republicans say they're comfortable with Trump as their nominee to 22% who say they aren't. When you narrow the field to just Clinton and Trump though, Trump's lead goes up to 45/41 because his share of the GOP vote increases to 77%. 15% of Republicans are undecided compared to 8% of Democrats, so if the party really unites around Trump eventually he'll get close to being up by the kind of margins Republicans are accustomed to in the state but for now it's tight.
Donald Trump's take on the matter?
Give him credit! "Yaaaaaaas thanks for making ruby-red Arizona into a battleground state" is definitely not the sort of thing an establishment Republican says.
Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist
Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.