But now the Hillary Clinton campaign has started investing in the state, raising the question: Is Arizona actually a swing state this year?
Arizona Democrats would like to believe so. They are encouraged by a growing Latino vote here that opposes Donald Trump and polls suggesting a much tighter race than in years past. A recent Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll found Clinton leading by 1.6 percent among likely voters, with nearly 23 percent undecided. Other polls also show a tight race: a recent NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll showed Trump with a 2 percent lead over Clinton among likely voters.
Ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana and raise the minimum wage and a close Senate race could also boost Democratic turnout in this traditionally Republican state.
On a recent Saturday in Prescott, a pair of volunteers from the Democratic Party canvassed a peaceful residential neighborhood shaded by tall pines. They asked voters how they were leaning for the presidential and Senate race, and told them Arizona had a shot at voting for a Democratic presidential candidate this year.
When independent voter Dawn Klekner came to the door, she confided she feels alienated from the dominant political views of the area.
“There are a lot of right-wing Republicans, a lot of hunters, a lot of gun owners,” Klekner said. “They tend to base their decisions on those issues.”
Prescott is the county seat for Yavapai County, a Republican stronghold. More than 64 percent of the county voted for Mitt Romney last election and Klekner said it is not necessarily a welcoming place for Democrats.
“I have people in my office saying, what are you registered as? And when you say Independent they are a lot more nice,” Klekner said. “I’ve heard other people say Democrat and they give them a stern …