Yuma, AZ has the best winter weather in the US. We also have roughly 3 months of what most would consider hot and a solid 3 months of brutal heat.
We live at low elevation that is quite dry. The desert is vast and unpopulated, but greater Phoenix is probably the 3rd largest metroplex in the US. Yes, larger than Chicago. The people tend to be hardy and older than the American average.
But we have high country, too. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is right at 7000’ ASL and the North Rim is 9000’. Flagstaff is the 7th snowiest city in the US. My favorite camping spot on earth is in eastern AZ (Hannagan Meadow) at 9000’.
We are an incredibly diverse state. The 2020 census will certainly show that AZ is a ‘majority minority’ state. Hispanics are the largest fraction of the population which also boasts a large indigenous population.
We also tend to be Republican. Part of that is due to the huge percentage of retired people. The famous “I got mine, you are on your own’ mentality. Part of it is ruthless gerrymandering that seems to benefit the party in power.
The largest cause of political ‘redness’ is, without question, due to the Democrats inability to connect with ANY of the non white population. The national party seems to not give any sort of shit about this state. For any reason.
The Hispanic population doesn’t vote with the same intensity that the white population does. I hate to say this, but much of that is by design. Polling places are less and less accessible every voting cycle. The white power base isn’t interested in sharing (or losing) any part of that supremacy. It is very much a closed loop.
When they do vote the Latino population tends to be conservative. Family, church and work are the hallmarks that all lead to conservative ideals. The Dems abandonment of the working class has taken a huge potential advantage away. A generation ago Cesar Chavez was proudly democratic. Mine workers were the embodiment of the democratic party. No mas.
Which leads me to give thanks for the 45th President of the United States. Courtesy of the megalomaniac in the White House we can see pink here in normally red Arizona. Per Trump’s very public feud with Jeff Flake there is a distinct path to electing a democratic senator in Arizona in 2018. Local, county and state offices are looking to be contested in much greater numbers than normal. There are good, solid announced democratic candidates for most every house seat in the state. Our president has given me reason for cautious optimism. To go with the daily heartburn.
I’m just sayin’