Two weeks ago, the popular campaign forecasters at FiveThirtyEight gave Hillary Clinton a nearly 60 percent chance of winning Arizona.
It was big news in the campaign world considering the state has long been a Republican stronghold, known for carrying some of the strongest immigration enforcement laws. Pundits declared Arizona the new swing state as Clinton surged in the polls with the help of the state’s growing Latino population that has tripled in 25 years.
But Trump has since been catching up with the help of former Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who boosted their careers as immigration hard-liners. Arpaio, who faces criminal contempt of court charges in a racial profiling case, has lost support in Maricopa County, where voters will decide his fate, but is seen more favorably across the state.
On Monday, Clinton and Trump were in a virtual tie when the Clinton campaign announced that Democratic Presidential nominee Tim Kaine would be giving the first ever presidential campaign speech in Spanish. Clinton actually held a 0.6 percentage point lead, according to an average of state polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. But by Friday, a day after Kaine’s speech in Phoenix, Trump had overtaken her and extended his lead to a more established 4 percentage points.
The pundits at FiveThirtyEight now give Trump a nearly 70 percent chance of winning the state.