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Poll: Climate Ripe For Progressive Politics In Arizona

Except for the federal congressional delegation, Arizona’s representation at the national and state levels remains Republican-centric.

However, a new poll suggests the pump is primed for progressive political candidates in Arizona in 2018. 

The poll, commissioned by State Innovation Exchange and Progress Now Arizona, ranked affordable healthcare as the top priority in Arizona. Improving the quality of neighborhood public schools followed as a close second.

Joaquin Rios is the Arizona state director for State Innovation Exchange. He said the term "progressive politics" was best represented by the late U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Paul Wellstone.

“You know, Paul Wellstone had that great quote, ‘We all do better when we all do better.’ I really like that as an encapsulator of where progressive politics kind of comes from,” Rios said.  

As campaign season gets underway for midterm elections, Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College in Wisconsin, and a professor of political science, said the gap has narrowed between voter preferences of Republicans over Democrats.

“A generic Democrat against a generic Republican, that number has narrowed now to under six percentage points," Messitte said. "And, so I think what you’re starting to see out there is that people are having some difficulty getting around what’s the difference between these two parties.”

Messitte added that historically when the bases of both major political parties turn out for an election, generally the Democrats win.  

Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.