2020 United States presidential election in Arizona
The 2020 United States presidential election in Arizona was held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, as part of the 2020 United States presidential election, in which all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated. Arizona voters chose 11 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and his running mate, incumbent Vice President Mike Pence, against Democratic challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, United States Senator Kamala Harris of California. The Libertarian, Green, Socialism and Liberation, and Constitution nominees were also on the ballot, as was an Independent candidate.
Trump carried Arizona in 2016 by 3.50%, and it was considered a vital battleground in this election. The state's bitterly competitive nature was attributed to diversification of Maricopa County, a traditionally Republican stronghold that holds 61.62% of the state's population. Maricopa County was seen as vital to either candidate's chances in the state – only one presidential candidate has ever won the state without carrying it. The county is home to Phoenix (the state capital and largest city), Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, and several other major cities. Biden's lead was credited to educated, white suburbanites, formerly Republican voting blocs that have shifted continuously towards the left in recent years. High turnout among Hispanic/Latino and Native American voters was also seen as vital. Polls of the state throughout the campaign generally showed a Biden lead, albeit by a slender margin. Prior to election day, 11 of the 16 news organizations making election predictions considered that Arizona was leaning towards Biden; the other five considered it a toss-up.
Biden ultimately won the state by a mere 10,457 votes over Trump, a 0.31% margin, marking the first time since Bill Clinton won it in 1996, and only the second time since Harry S. Truman's 1948 victory, that a Democratic presidential nominee won Arizona. Arizona was the second-closest state in 2020, the only closer state being Georgia, marking the first time since 1948 that the Democratic nominee won both Sun Belt states (though Clinton won each state in separate elections). Arizona weighed in as 4.15 percentage points more Republican than the nation in 2020.
Per exit polls by the Associated Press, Biden won 59% of Latino voters, including 65% of Latinos of Mexican heritage, who made up the vast majority of the Hispanic electorate. Hispanic and Latino voters comprised 18% of the electorate, up from 15% in 2016 and 16% in 2008. He won 58% of independents and was even able to notch 9% of Republicans and 10% of conservatives. That support allowed Biden to narrowly flip Maricopa County, making him the first Democrat since Truman in 1948 to do so. He held his deficit among suburban voters to 51-48 despite Republicans having won them by double digits in 2016, 2012, and 2008. Biden won college-educated voters 53-46, a 17 point swing from 2016 when Trump won them by 10 percentage points. Additionally, Biden performed relatively well for a Democratic candidate among the state's Latter-day Saint voters, carrying 18% of their vote. Biden had touted his endorsement from Cindy McCain and leaned into his friendship with the late Senator John McCain in advertising. Trump disparaged him on several instances at rallies while campaigning and during his presidency, even after McCain's death, and refused to attend his funeral, which some credited as the finishing blow to his performance among Arizona's moderate voter base. Pushing Biden over the top was a strong performance among Hispanic and Latino voters and a massive hike in turnout among the state's expansive Native American reservations, most significantly the Navajo Nation.