Trump has edge in Arizona heading into 2024
Before 2020, Arizona was considered a reliably Republican state, voting for the Republican candidate in every presidential election from 1952 to 2016, with the exception of Bill Clinton’s re-election in 1996. But that all began to change in 2016 with the emergence of Donald Trump. While Arizona went to Donald Trump in the 2016 election, it was by far narrower margins than other recent presidential elections. And finally, in 2020, the once reliably red state flipped blue.
So what are the polls showing, and more importantly, are there voter registration trends that can help predict which way this all-important swing state will sway in the 2024 general election?
Trump leads Biden in most recent polling
While to this point there are not many publicly available state-level polls about the election for president in Arizona, recent polling suggests that Donald Trump is narrowly outperforming President Biden in the state of Arizona.
As of December 28, 2023, Donald Trump holds a 4.8 point lead over Biden in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. This average includes five polls conducted between October and December, 2023, with results varying from +8 points in favor of Trump to +2 points in favor of Trump.
However, as we have come to understand in recent election cycles, polling is not always reliable, so taking a look at voter registration statistics may help to give a clearer picture of candidate momentum in Arizona.
GOP beating Democrats in Arizona voter registration
While the polling indicates that Trump is slightly ahead of Biden in Arizona, perhaps a better indicator is voter registration statistics. According to the most recent available data from the Arizona Secretary of State, Republicans are outpacing Democrats in voter registration heading into the 2024 general election cycle, which could prove positive for Trump’s hopes of taking the state.
As of October of 2023, registered Republicans in Arizona accounted for 34.33% of the active state electorate, compared to 29.76% registering as Democrat. In comparison, in October 2019 voter registration totals in Arizona were much closer, with registered Republicans and Democrats amounting to 34.77% and 31.14%, respectively.
While registered Republican voters have in recent decades outnumbered registered Democrats in Arizona, the rate of registered GOP voter growth in Arizona is clearly outpaced new registered Democrats in 2023.
For comparison, between April and October of 2019, 36,206 net new registered Democrats were added to the Arizona voter rolls, compared to 34,910 net new registered GOP voters, a difference of 1,296 registered voters favoring the Democrats. Fast forward to the same time period in 2023, and the script is completely flipped, with the net number of registered Democrats on the Arizona voter rolls decreasing by 10,426 while the number of registered Republicans increasing by 3,927.
No Labels party gaining minimal traction
While there has been concern in both the Biden and Trump camps that a potential No Labels Party candidate could throw a wrench into the general election, the newly-formed party has seen very little traction in registered voters in Arizona, adding only approximately 18,000 registered voters between April and October, 2023. While this could change should No Labels field a candidate, they have thus far seen very little momentum in Arizona.
While much can and will change as we get farther into the 2024 presidential election cycle, Former President Trump has a clear edge in the all-important swing state of Arizona based on polling and overall GOP voter growth in the state.