Arizona was a red state in the past four presidential elections, and other than one slight margin of victory in 1996 for President Bill Clinton over Republican nominee Bob Dole, Arizona has voted Republican since 1952.
This year, along with several other traditionally red states like Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas, Arizona’s 11 electoral votes are not a sure thing for the Republican candidate.
In a live telephone poll conducted by Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News, results show Republican nominee Donald Trump polling lower by a small margin than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with 33.5 percent for Clinton and 33.1 percent for Trump,.
Third-party candidates Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party earned 6.9 and 1.5 percent, respectively.
A full 20 percent of likely voters report still being undecided, but when asked who they lean toward, the race is still similarly close. 39.9 percent of undecided voters said they were leaning toward Hillary Clinton, and 36.8 percent were considering voting for Donald Trump.
Arizona currently ranks sixth in terms of states with the highest Latino population. Trump’s recent doubling-down on the issue of immigration policy will likely hurt him in Arizona without an extreme step back from his outrageous rhetoric ahead of the November election. However, a step back would most likely lose Trump at least a percentage of his dedicated voting base.
It’s a quandary that should have been expected by the Trump campaign last June, when Trump announced his presidency in a speech that included this statement:
‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.’
The poll results follow trends in this unprecedented election season. In Texas, a state that has voted red since 1976, Hillary Clinton leads the GOP nominee by one point. Similarly, Mississippi has voted red since 1976 just as Texas has, but Trump currently only leads by two points in Mississippi. Georgia has voted red for the past 24 years but Clinton is tied in a dead heat with Trump there.
When a Republican candidate can’t even win in the South, perhaps it’s time for the GOP to pack up and go home.
For more on polls in battleground states, see video below:
Featured image via Getty/Alex Wong