The Yavapai County Democratic party celebrated the re-election of President Obama at a well-attended election night party at the Stoneridge Golf Club in Prescott Valley. In addition to the President's re-election, Democrats were pleased that so many strong women across the country were elected to the U.S. Senate, such as Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
"Women voters were critical in President Obama's re-election," said Lindsay Bell, YCDP chair. "They clearly registered their concerns about women's rights, pay equity and healthcare at the ballot box."
This trend was apparent in Arizona as well. Former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, CD1, and former State Senator Kyrsten Sinema in CD9, are holding their edge in races for the U.S. House that haven't been called yet.
Both of these candidates were outspent by their opponents and by PACs supporting their opponents, but the ground game made the difference.
"While we were disappointed in the outcome of the race for U.S. Senate, we were pleased by the strong get-out-the-vote effort put forth by our volunteers to support our Democratic candidates," said Bell. "We did a thousand phone calls on election day alone, and made eleven thousand phone calls the week prior, as well as several thousand door-knocks."
Democrats were also gratified by the statewide gains in the Arizona legislature, where Democratic candidates picked up four seats each in the state senate and house. Democrats now have 13 of the 30 Senate seats; Republicans hold 17 seats, which moves the party ratio from 70% Republicans and 30% Democrats to a more balanced 57% and 43%, respectively.
"In January, Arizona will have a more centrist legislature," Bell said. "The elimination of the Republican super majority will lead to better legislation, requiring input from moderates on both sides of the aisle."
In addition, several of the more extreme Republicans are no longer part of the state legislature, such as former State Senate President Russell Pearce, author of anti-immigrant legislation, who was recalled. Pistol packin' Senator Lori Klein, Senator Ron Gould, advocate for guns on campus, and former Senator Frank Antenori, known for his anti-education stances, are no longer in the state house.
"The election results show that both the country and the state are moving forward in a positive direction," Bell concluded.