Sep 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Cook Political Report moves Arizona from “toss up” to “lean Democrat” in presidential race

Trump and Biden split screen.

Photos: Sean Rayford/Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Cook Political Report on Thursday changed its forecast of Arizona in the presidential race from "toss up" to "lean Democrat," citing new polling data that shows the Sun Belt state slipping away from President Trump.

Why it matters: The rating in a crucial swing state doesn't bode well for President Trump's re-election chances. He won the state by more than 3 points in 2016.

The state of play: Trump's performance in the state is largely driven by changing attitudes in Maricopa County, surrounding Phoenix, where about two-thirds of the state's voters come from, according to Cook.

  • "Voters there, as in other suburban areas in and around big metro areas, have soured on Pres. Trump," Cook writes.
  • Cook cited FiveThirtyEight's average of recent polls, which has Biden's lead in the state at 4.3 points.
  • Trump is struggling with the all-important Latino vote in the state, garnering just 17% support compared with Joe Biden's 55%, according to a Cook survey out this week.

Worth noting: Two of the Trump's most vocal Republican critics, former Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, served in the Senate from Arizona.

  • Only 73% of Arizona Republicans say they will definitely vote for Trump, with 9% saying they are probably or definitely voting for Joe Biden, according to the Cook survey.

Go deeper: Cook says Biden has Electoral College edge

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