PHOENIX — When it came to dealing with COVID-19, Governor Ducey did it the President’s way.
The state’s unemployment totals may be high at 10.6%, but Arizona actually has the second-best economy of any state in the U.S. While there may be protests against the police, Arizona is not burning. All of which makes the governor a very important player in President Trump’s re-election plans.
“The governor of Arizona in attendance is not accidental,” says Republican political consultant Stan Barnes, President of Copper State Consulting. “It means something to the President himself. It is also a reveal of the enthusiasm Doug Ducey has for the President.”
The President needs to win Arizona. If voters are inclined to vote with their wallets, economist Jim Rounds believes Governor Ducey has positioned the state well to handle the pandemic.
Tourism, leisure, and the hospitality industries have all been hit hard, but Rounds says, “in the economy, we’re doing better than almost every other state keeping people employed. We’re going to be doing better than most every other state on keeping incomes up and bringing in new businesses.” Rounds points to economic growth in Pinal County, and the West Valley in particular.
Ducey is an unabashed Trump supporter. In a state where political allegiances are moving to the left, that is important to the Trump campaign. More times than not, voters decide with their hearts, not their heads when choosing a president. While Arizonans have lived thru the pains of the pandemic, nearly 5,000 have died from COVID-19, there are signs of hope in Arizona.
Voters, Barnes says, “see the governor behaving in an adult manner. See the economy humming as best it can and don’t see Phoenix, Tucson, or any city in Arizona burning. You put that all together and Doug Ducey with the President of the United States adds up to support for the President.”
Barnes says that may be enough to tip the balance in Arizona to President Trump.
With a little more than two months until the election, the chase for undecided voters is quickly giving way to making sure your party’s voters are energized and show up at the polls. That will be Doug Ducey’s mission in Arizona, if he wants to make sure he’s welcome back to the White House.