By Selwyn Duke
Call it The Tale of Two Purple States. In the 2022 midterms, Florida experienced precisely what pundits and prognosticators said the whole country would: A historic, perhaps unprecedented “red” wave. In contrast, Arizona had a bit of a “blue” wave — but only in the high-profile, upper-echelon races. This raises a few questions, the first being:
Are Florida’s and Arizona’s voters really that much different?
A recent analysis of Arizona’s down-ballot races indicates that, well, maybe they’re not.
Before getting to that, note here that the two states share many commonalities. They’re both sun-belt states whose populations have grown in the last decade by similar rates. They’re also both diverse places with similar demographics, which is significant because group identity is an excellent proxy for voting patterns.
Florida and Arizona are, respectively, 52.7 percent and 53.2 percent non-Hispanic white, with Latinos comprising more than a quarter of each state’s population. Yes, Hispanics, who traditionally lean Democratic, comprise a larger share (32.3 percent) of Arizona’s population than they do of the Sunshine State’s (26.8). On the other hand, black Americans have for decades been more solidly Democratic (90-plus percent) than any group, and they comprise 15.5 percent of Florida’s population but only 4.7 percent of Arizona’s.
In other words, you’d expect these states to be precisely what they had been regarded as for years prior to the midterms: “purple” states whose politics might shift a bit more toward one major party or the other in a given election, but remain very divided. But that’s not at all how it turned out November 8.
The Republicans ran the table in Florida, with Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Marco Rubio winning by wide margins and even flipping Miami-Dade County, which should seem only a bit more likely than the GOP suddenly capturing New York City. What’s more, Republicans are set to control 85 seats in the state’s 120-member House — a historical record. The sweep is so profound that some observers have declared that Florida is now a red state.
Yet the sweep was different in Arizona: Democrats won every high-profile, up-ballot race — the governorship, Senate, secretary of state, and attorney general (though the last hasn’t been officially called). This seems a bit anomalous. After all, an election tends to have a certain character, with one major party or the other gaining ground nationwide within the context of each state’s particular character (e.g., a purple state becoming a bit more red or blue and a red state becoming somewhat more or less so). This raises the next question:
Can you remember an election in which two swing states registered such profoundly schizophrenic results, as if they’re suddenly operating in alternate universes?
Trying to explain this, earlier this month I pointed out an anomaly within the above anomaly: DeSantis and Rubio out-performed the polls, which is typical for Republicans (in 2020, it turned out that the GOP had under-polled by 3.3 points on average). Yet in most of the rest of our nation, including Arizona, the Republicans had apparently under-performed relative to the polls. This is odd because the polling “systems” are the same in Florida as elsewhere.
But then here’s what’s different: the voting system.
DeSantis and Florida’s legislators had taken steps to eliminate vote fraud in their state — in particular, the mail-in ballot variety, the kind most prone to fraud (more information here).
And now there’s yet more circumstantial evidence of vote fraud, another anomaly within the anomaly: That up-ballot Arizona blue wave was, oddly, accompanied by a down-ballot red wave. American Thinker’s Dennis Lund provided the numbers recently.
Calculating an average of the votes for the four up-ballot races won by Democrats — governor, Senate, attorney general, and secretary of state — informs that the Democrats got 1,285,500 average votes per candidate while the Republicans got an average of 1,219,750, for a differential of 65,750.
Then there are Arizona’s congressional races. “Equalizing the average for the Democrats, we would have 1,206,000 votes cast for Democrat members of Congress, compared to 1,369,000 votes cast for Republican[s],” writes Lund. “In other words, it would appear that approximately 163,000 more votes were cast for Republicans than for Democrats.”
Despite this, up-ballot numbers “indicate that about 98,000 more votes were cast for the Democrat candidates than for the Republican candidates,” Lund then points out. “The conclusion would be that about 68,000 voters who preferred the Republican for Congress voted Democrat for governor, senator, A.G., and secretary of state.”
“Additionally, the numbers indicate that 150,000 more people voted for all nine Republican candidates than voted for the four statewide offices under consideration for this exercise,” Lund elaborates, before stating that these facts “defy logic.”
Some may point out that the Republican gubernatorial and Senate hopefuls, Kari Lake and Blake Masters, are “controversial” figures who received much bad press. But this doesn’t explain why the races of the GOP’s attorney general and secretary of state candidates, Abraham Hamadeh and Mark Finchem, exhibited the same vote-anomaly phenomenon.
Lund has an analysis that does, however. He writes:
When unethical people take in ballots to control the election process, they do so by obtaining ballots from those mailed out in various regions of the state. The ballots are then filled out for their favored candidates. The focus is always on the so called “up-ballot” races (president, senators, governors, and statewide offices). Ignored are the “down-ballot” candidates: Congress and local legislatures. The reasons for this are twofold: time and ballot differences. The “up-ballot” candidates are the same for the entire state. The “down-ballot” races are distinct for the locale of that particular precinct or district.
“Obtaining ballots” — that says it all. There’s a reason why mail-in voting has been illegal in France since 1975: You can have widespread mail-in voting or you can have secure elections — you cannot have both.