March 6, 2020 / Modified mar 6, 2020 3:39 p.m.

Super Tuesday’s sway, refugees in Arizona, Broadway widening

A political roundtable analyzes what Tuesday's results indicate about Arizona's upcoming Democratic Presidential Preference Election.

Democrats running for president faced their biggest hurdle on Super Tuesday. With contests in 14 states, the results led candidates Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren to end their campaigns, while former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders emerged as the clear frontrunners.

Ahead of Arizona’s Democratic Presidential Preference Election in a few weeks, Arizona 360 got analysis on Tuesday’s big takeaways from the Yellow Sheet Report editor Hank Stephenson, Arizona Daily Star opinion writer Edward Celaya and KVOI 1030 AM’s Tipping Point host Zach Yentzer.

On what Super Tuesday indicates about which voter groups the candidates are attracting:

“Bernie Sanders got the majority of the youth vote. The youth vote is usually under 20% of the turnout,” Yentzer said. “That’s going to be the challenge moving forward.”

“I think it'll be a game of who turns out obviously. Whether Arizona's college students show up to vote. Whether Latinos show up to vote, if that happens maybe Bernie Sanders gives Joe Biden a race for his money,” Stephenson said. “But if it's kind of the older, whiter, moderate dem electorate, I think Arizona goes Joe Biden.”

On the value of endorsements and reaction to the Arizona Republic’s recent decision to forego endorsing candidates this year:

“I think it kind of falls into the argument against having editorials by saying, ‘Oh, number one, nobody really cares what we have to say,’ I don't think that's really true,” Celaya said. “I don't think that the necessary role of an endorsement is to influence people to vote for somebody. I think it's to influence the conversation around the election.”

On COVID-19 concerns and Arizona’s response:

“We’ve had two confirmed cases in Arizona. This is not, at this point, a huge outbreak. But I think everyone sees that if we’re not taking preventative measures, if we’re not smart about how we handle this, it could become a much bigger issue,” Stephenson said.

Ongoing war in Syria has led to a humanitarian crisis that has displaced millions of Syrians. From 2015-2017, several hundred refugees were resettled in Arizona, according to a refugee arrivals report from the Arizona Department of Economic Security. In recent years, those numbers have fallen drastically. Previously, nongovernmental organizations like the Tucson Refugee Ministry helped Syrian refugees resettle. However, Trump administration policies restricting their entry into the United States have negated those efforts. Arizona 360 learned more from the nonprofit’s executive director Jennifer Tompkins.

“Currently, there are no Syrian refugees that are being relocated into Tucson because we have a ban act on Syria,” Tompkins said. “We do have quite a few Syrian refugees here and they will not be reunited with their family members.”

Tompkins encouraged people to contact their local, state and federal lawmakers and ask that they advocate for the continued resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S.

Crews have broken ground on a long-awaited project to widen Broadway Boulevard in Tucson. Expanding a 2-mile stretch between Euclid Avenue and Country Club Road will take 20 months to finish at a cost of $72 million. Lorraine Rivera got behind the wheel for a tour of the construction with city of Tucson transportation officials.

“During the planning and design process, folks are very, very vocal at that time, and they have a lot of input. And sometimes folks are against the project,” said engineering project manager Greg Orsini. “But, basically, once our shovels hit the ground they understand we’re here, we’re performing the construction and they’re going to get an improved roadway.”

At Arizona Public Media, Rivera heard from the Arizona Daily Star’s Edward Celaya and KVOI 1030 AM’s Tipping Point host Zach Yentzer about what they’ve learned from the community about their concerns with hefty road projects like widening Broadway.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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