Flake vs. Carmona: Arizona’s ideological war

President Barack Obama vs. former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Especially after Monday night’s debate, most voters are sick of the grand political debacle. By now, most of them have already decided where their allegiances lay.

Let's shift gears: Republican nominee Jeff Flake vs. Democrat Richard Carmona.

Not only does this political election represent the direction Arizona will be taking, it will perfectly express where Arizona's ideological allegiances lay.

I’ve discussed the 17th Amendment and its monumental impact on the federal representative. This, however, does not change the fact that through senatorial direct elections, Arizona's ideological preferences are completely exposed to the rest of the country.

Arizona is like every other state in this nation: We face our own unique problems with our own state constitution and our own politicians.

But the race will indicate whether or not Arizona is ready to embrace something new — or, rather, something new to its residents.

While everyone knows Arizona currently leans Republican, the magnitude of which has been rapidly dissolving. Democrats have made our state an ideological battleground.

For instance, although we've had career politicians Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jon Kyl steer our boat for over a decade, Obama was able to make a legitimate run at capturing Arizona during the 2008 presidential election.

The demographics of our state are changing. Vanessa Cárdenas writes that Arizona experienced a 24 percent population growth from 2000 to 2010, which contributes to the evolution of the state’s “political electorate.”

Our ideologies are changing and we're changing.

Flake and Carmona could not be more different. Ignore the 10-second political ads and the ever-present ad-hominem television attacks. If we look at their platforms, it would appear that our Senate race is some miniature, private version of the ideological warfare that has consumed the entire nation in the face of the Obama-Romney race.

Never before has Arizona faced a more striking political scenario. The Huffington Post’s poll trends show the Senate race is neck-and-neck, and both Democrats and Republicans are preparing for what has become a “toss-up” election. Carmona is favored by 43.8 percent, while Flake is favored by a close 43.6 percent.

What does this mean for voters of the traditionally red state?

I write this column not only to encourage involvement with this election, but to encourage you to discover the underlying philosophical changes that have ever-so-slightly engulfed the state of Arizona.

Quite simply, if Carmona is elected, Arizona will have effectively replaced its decade-long, federal republicanism with a progressive, government-loving liberalism.

If you agree, prevent it; if you disagree, make it happen.

Become involved, become political and engage in debate.

Arizona needs political participation more than tax increases, more than urban developments — even more than state politicians.


Reach the columnist at spmccaul@asu.edu or follow him at @sean_mccauley


Want to join the conversation? Send an email to opiniondesk.statepress@gmail.com. Keep letters under 300 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.