Democrats Bet on Shift in Hispanic Numbers to Win Arizona Senate Race
The man who could be the first Latino to represent Arizona in the Senate, Richard H. Carmona, says he is not fooling himself. “I want to be realistic on the expectations,” he said last week at his office.
Mr. Carmona, 62, is an untested candidate of vast experiences with a made-for-Hollywood biography. He was a high school dropout, born into poverty in New York City to Puerto Rican parents who struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He served in Vietnam, earning Bronze Stars, Purple Hearts and other combat decorations, and attended medical school before his eventual rise to surgeon general under President George W. Bush.
He is running for public office for the first time, challenging a six-term congressman, Jeff Flake, 49, a Republican. Both are vying for the seat held by another Republican, Senator Jon Kyl, who is retiring. Though there is little reliable polling in the contest, both camps acknowledged that the race is closer than they expected in such a heavily Republican state.
A combination of factors, including the state’s legislative push to curb illegal immigration and the presence of a Hispanic candidate like Mr. Carmona in the race, — have been galvanizing among advocacy groups in Arizona, triggering the largest Latino voter registration efforts in memory.
Still, Tara Blanc, a lecturer at the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University who has studied Latino voting patterns in the state, said Latinos tended to be poorer, younger and less educated than the rest of the population. Those factors generally contribute to low turnouts, she said, so ‘whether they’ll go to the polls is anybody’s guess.’
Their transformative power lies, most likely, in the future. By 2030, Latinos are expected to make up 25 percent of all registered voters in Arizona, up from 15 percent in 2010, according to an analysis by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State.
That last paragraph contains the whole reason for SB1070 and the banning of Mexican American Studies in Tucson. Read the whole article; Carmona is interesting, and so is this Senate race.
The Democrats are giving Carmona a boost on Wednesday with their best campaigner, Bill Clinton.
Former president Bill Clinton will pay a visit to Tempe Wednesday to campaign for Rich Carmona.
Carmona’s U.S. Senate campaign announced the planned visit Saturday morning.
Clinton will make an appearance at a free rally at 8 p.m. at ASU’s Sun Devil Performance Lawn at University Drive and Rural Road in Tempe, according to a news release from campaign officials.
Carmona led Flake by two percentage points - or 45 percent to 43 percent - in the poll of 595 likely voters, although the survey’s margin was plus or minus 4 percentage points.