Phoenix – Josh Heaton “immediately” regretted voting for Donald Trump in 2016. The lifelong Republican intends to make amends by supporting Joe Biden next month in the battleground state of Arizona.
Moderate conservatives like Heaton who are switching sides in the southwestern state – where Trump won by some 100, 000 votes last time, but Biden now leads by a slender margin – could prove vital to the US election, say analysts.
“We didn’t feel like we had very good options” in 2016, the 43-year-old engineer told AFP at his home in the Phoenix suburbs.
“To be honest, until I voted I didn’t know who I was going to vote for. And I had some regrets immediately afterwards,” he added.
Arizona has not elected a Democrat since Bill Clinton’s second win in 1996, but is undergoing major demographic changes.
It has seen a rapid growth in urban areas, among young college-educated voters, and in its robust Latino community – groups that tend to favour the Democratic Party.
But key to next month’s election is that the average Arizona voter, whether Republican or Democrat, tends to be more moderate and is “tired of the President’s behaviour and the rhetoric coming from his campaign,” according to Arizona State University politics lecturer Gina Woodall.
“I think Trump has a lot more to lose,” in Arizona, said Woodall.