Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the influx of immigrants into Arizona will put this conservative stronghold into the hands of the Democratic Party.
The former Arizona governor predicted her state would turn blue in coming elections — just like Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado has gained in Democratic popularity, she said in a Christian Science Monitor report.
“Arizona will be behind them,” she said to reporters on Tuesday. “I think it will be more purple over time, but ultimately blue. … It’ll happen, I think. The fact that I could win three straight elections there, I think is indicative that Democrats can win and do win in Arizona.”
Ms. Napolitano attributed her prediction to the influx of immigrants into the state, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
With the exception of 1996, Arizona has voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 1976. Voters chose Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by a 9.1 percent margin in the last election. The state’s conservatives have largely held a 5-percentage point majority over the Democratic Party for years, various polling agencies show. U.S. Census statistics do indicate a large population shift, however, in recent times.
The state picked up an additional electoral vote — it now has 11 — after growing by about 25 percent in population over the past decade.