U.S.

With Abortion and the Border, Arizona Becomes a 2024 Political Hothouse

To see the battle lines over Arizona’s political future, head to a patch of dirt along the Carefree Highway on the edge of Phoenix, where the state’s big ambitions and bitter grievances are separated by a wire fence.

On one side, a silvery new microchip factory is sprouting from the desert, part of a $50 billion technology investment by the Biden administration expected to create tens of thousands of jobs and make Arizona a new tech powerhouse. New hires from across the country and abroad are snapping up just-built Spanish-tiled houses nearby, and schools are already adding semiconductor trainings.

But on the other side of the fence, roadside vendors are doing brisk business opposing President Biden. Each morning, they hoist Confederate flags and lay out tables of Trump hats and crude banners deriding Mr. Biden. “I don’t give him credit for anything,” said Mike Conley, 73, a transplant from California who sells ammunition from the bed of his pickup.

Arizona feels like a place where nearly all of 2024’s pivotal political clashes are converging. It is a border state bristling with active fault lines on abortion, inflation, immigration and election conspiracies, where vast demographic changes have shifted Arizona from reliably Republican and seldom contested in national politics to a desert hothouse. Everything is up for grabs.

“The word chaos certainly comes to mind right now — on all fronts,” said former Gov. Fife Symington, a Republican who served in the 1990s. “The in-migration, the unparalleled growth has changed so many dynamics. It’s a totally transformed state.”

At the State Capitol, anti-abortion conservatives and abortion-rights supporters have spent weeks locked in a raw struggle over scrapping an 1864 abortion ban that was upheld and revived by the state’s Supreme Court.

Back to top button