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The Arizona Republican Party Has Been Self-Decimated

Arizona is one of the swingiest swing states. Expect lots of news coverage about it until Nov. 5. Needless to say, because it swings so much, both parties want to make sure they have a good ground operation there. Normally, it is the state parties that run the ground war and sometimes the air war, because they have detailed knowledge of the state, which areas are solid for them, which swing, and which are hopeless. Consequently, what is going on with the Arizona Republican Party is important.

In Feb. 2020, near the start of the 2020 campaign, the Arizona GOP state party had over 60 people on the payroll. This February, it had 6 people on the payroll. This is a direct result of massive infighting within the party between the MAGA wing and the John McCain wing. That came to a head when Kari Lake called then-chairman Jeff DeWit, recorded the call, and then blackmailed him into resigning. She said he either had to fall in line behind her and Trump or get out or she would release some damaging material. He decided to quit. As a consequence, the party devolved into chaos. Oh, and it is also broke. Now Lake owns what's left of the party machine and has to rebuild it from scratch in her image. She doesn't take prisoners. It's her way or the highway. She sees RINOs, not the Democrats, as the enemy.

The Trump campaign is apparently aware of this and has hired Trump's own state director, Pat Aquilina, outside the state party and is paying him from the national campaign budget. Is all this an indication that the Republicans don't have their act together in Arizona? It could be. Another indication is a remark from senior Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita, who said: "By combining forces and operations, the Trump campaign and RNC are deploying operations that are fueled by passionate volunteers who care about saving America and firing Joe Biden." That's an admission that they don't have much paid staff in the state and may not for a while. While getting volunteers to go door-to-door is great, the party leadership can't be run by amateurs who know nothing about where to deploy resources and how to win elections. Will Trump show up, bang heads together, and get everyone on the same page? Maybe, but he hasn't visited the state this year.

In contrast, the Democratic state party has 15 paid employees and another 19 paid campaign workers in eight offices run by the Biden campaign. Clearly the Democrats are in much better shape on the ground and are busy fighting the Republicans, not each other. (V)

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