Dem 50
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Ties 1
GOP 49
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Democrats May Flip the Triplex in Arizona

The trifecta (control of both chambers of the legislature and the chief executive position) is well known. Somewhat less well known is the triplex in state government, in which one party has the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. In most states, these are the top three elected state positions, although in a few states the governor appoints the secretary of state. Nominally a lieutenant governor should count for something, but if the vice presidency of the United States isn't worth a bucket of warm p**s, what could the lieutenant governor position be worth? Maybe a Dixie cup of warm p**s. When one party holds the triplex, that is an indication of how strong that party is, especially when the party also holds both of the Senate seats.

Arizona is an emerging purple state and it looks like the Democrats have a strong shot at winning the triplex there, which is amazing since the Republicans held it before the midterms. Gov-elect Katie Hobbs (D-AZ) definitely won, even though Sore-Loser-not-elect Kari Lake (R) refuses to admit it. Adrian Fontes (D) beat election denier Mark Finchem (R) by nearly 5 points and will be the new secretary of state, succeeding the departing Hobbs. The attorney general race is close, but the final results put Kris Mayes (D) 510 votes ahead of Abraham Hamadeh (R). There will be an automatic recount, but Hamadeh would need a very large dose of good luck to pick up a net of 511 votes. How come the Democrats probably flipped the triplex? Unusually pleasant weather on Election Day? Or the fact Donald Trump picked and supported all three losing Republicans (and the losing Senate candidate, as well)? Beats us.

If Mayes hangs on, the Democrats will have flipped the state from a Republican triplex to a Democratic triplex—and won both Senate seats as well. No other state flipped as enormously as Arizona in 2022. Only the Arizona AG race was close, so at this point Arizona is definitely no longer the red state it was when Barry Goldwater or John McCain were the leading politicians. All of this means Arizona will be one of the biggest battlegrounds in 2024. Since the Democrats control the levers of power concerning elections (secretary of state and governor), Republicans will have no ability to interfere with a fair election there in 2024. Well, not at the state level, at least. Who knows what the nutters in Cochise County will come up with.

For completeness sake, underscoring the purple nature of Arizona, the biggest vote getter in the state this year was Kimberly Yee (R), the state treasurer, who won reelection easily. Tom Horne (R) beat Kathy Hoffman (D) by 0.4% for superintendent of public instruction, and Paul Marsh (R) was easily reelected as Arizona State Mine Inspector—because no Democrat bothered to file to run against him. However, the three positions the Democrats won are much higher profile and much more important than the three (largely technocratic) positions the Republicans won.

In three other states, the triplex status changed in 2022 as a result of the midterms, but all of them went from split control to one-party control. None flipped from a red triplex to a blue triplex or vice versa, like Arizona seems to be headed for. Iowa became a Republican triplex while Maryland and Massachusetts became Democratic triplexes. As of January, after the new officers are sworn in, the Democrats will have the triplex in 21 states and Republicans will have it in 24 states. These five states have split control: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, and Vermont. This goes to show that states are increasingly blue or red up and down the line. Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana are deep red states where the Republicans have put up terrible candidates recently that allowed a Democrat to be elected governor. Vermont is a deep blue state with a governor (Phil Scott) who is the prototype of a RINO and personally very popular. One of us (V) met him and talked to him one-on-one for a while a few years ago and can attest that Ron DeSantis he is not. (V)

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