Donald Trump piñata by Dalton Avalos Ramirez/Photo by Mike Licht
Actual GOP frontrunner Donald Trump
Today is the deadline to make sure that you’re registered as a Democrat or a Republican in order to vote in next month’s presidential primary election. Unlike other primaries in Arizona, independents can't just pick a side when they request a ballot.
You can register online here
or find a location to do it in person here.
And by the way: Even though the primary election day is March 22, early voting starts later this week.
You’d hardly guess that the voting is about to start if you had to gauge by the effort the candidates are making in Arizona. You can scarcely see any signs of local campaigning—no ads on TV, no mailers, yard signs few and far between.
That’s because the candidates have been so busy elsewhere that Arizona has hardly rated a lick of attention yet. And since Arizona votes a week after Super Tuesday, campaigns are putting their resources into those contests.
But that may be changing in the weeks to come, especially since Arizona is one the first winner-take-all states, the field is coming into focus on the GOP side and Hillary is looking to slow down Bernie’s growing momentum.
First, the GOP candidates: Jeb! has finally surrendered to the inevitable and shut down his campaign after a miserable fourth-place showing in South Carolina, where he barely registered with 8 percent of the vote.
That’s especially good news for Marco Rubio. Marco still has to contend with John Kasich, but the Ohio governor shouldn’t prove to be a major roadblock in consolidating establishment support, provided the Rubot doesn’t suffer another malfunction. Of course, there’s no guarantee that he won’t as his operating system remains a bit wonky after Chris Christie shorted it out in New Hampshire, in a moment that would have made Capt. James T. Kirk beam with pride.
But as many have pointed out, Rubio has yet to actually win a state and former reality TV star Donald Trump continues to dominate in both nationwide and state-by-state polling. The Donald undoubtedly has a ceiling on his support, but we’ll just where that is now that it’s come down to a essentially a three-man race between him, Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Speaking of Cruz: The Texas senator probably has the best grassroots organization in Arizona, as he has tapped GOP political consultant Constantin Querard as his state director. Querard, who long ago figured out how to work the Clean Elections program to elect conservatives and take out moderate Republicans, has deep ties to many state lawmakers. More than a dozen current and former legislators are part of Team Cruz
, including two who are well known in Southern Arizona: former state senator Al Melvin and former state representative and unsuccessful congressional candidate Adam Kwasman.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has yet committed significant resources to Arizona yet. But we hear that Democrats in Southern Arizona are definitely feeling the Bern. Big crowds turned out for Sanders’ visits to Phoenix and Tucson last year and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is pushing Sanders via social media. Sanders has grabbed the endorsement of Congressman Raul Grijalva, while Clinton has the support of Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick.