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Presidential candidates look to win over undecided, independent Arizonans

Posted at 10:29 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 00:29:52-05

They are the most coveted voters, undecided independents. As Arizona becomes more purple and the presidential race ramps up, the voters who are still “up for grabs” become even more pivotal to politicians.

With Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump showing up in Phoenix within three weeks of each other, it is safe to say that both parties view Arizona as a battleground state.

"It's a little bit more of a toss-up than it was a few years ago. So it's very exciting,” said Eric Rogers, a middle school teacher in Phoenix.

Rogers says he registers as an independent, and has voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the past decade.

"It really depends on who's running and the idea that candidate is talking about," said Rogers. "To me the issues that matter are healthcare [and] education.”

Rogers said healthcare became even more of a priority after his daughter, Tulsi, was born eight weeks premature and spent time in the NICU.

“My wife and I often had conversations like, ‘What is this going to do to us financially? Are we even going to be able to save up to get a car for our child someday?’,” he said.

Terri Lake is still an “undecided” independent but also a part-time teacher.

"I would like to see more of what they are going to be doing with education. What's happening with the money,” said Lake.

The Goodyear mother of two is also concerned with taxes and housing.

"There's just this massive migration and either the rents are too high or people can't find a place to live because everything's been rented out,” said Lake.

Every voter has different priorities but all want to see the presidential candidates address the issues in the Valley like education and affordable housing.

"I'm excited on one hand, but I'm disillusioned," said Lake.

One thing is for sure, the candidates will be paying close attention to Arizona in the months leading up to November.

"I'm really excited to be now in a state that can have a much larger role in the election than it did in the past," said Rogers.