Joe Biden is the first Democrat to win the state of Arizona since 1996. The Associated Press revealed on Wednesday that Arizona has 11 electoral votes going to the former vice president and Democratic nominee.

This is the first time in 24 years that Arizona has chosen a Democratic presidential candidate. The state, which has a population of 7.279 million, broke its own records with early voting and cast a significant 2.6 million votes before Election Day on Nov. 3.

With Biden emerging as victor in Arizona, the Democrats have succeeded in their goal to flip the state that has been a bulwark of Republican support for many decades. Biden’s lead came despite Trump and his running mate, Vice President Mike Pence, ramping up their campaign activities in Arizona ahead of the elections. Last week, they visited Arizona in hopes of shoring up more votes from the state as Biden and running mate Kamala Harris campaigned in Phoenix and Tucson.

Political experts believe that aside from the growing Latino population in Arizona, Donald Trump’s poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic played a huge role in the political shift. Arizona resident Gibby Vee, who moved to Arizona from North California said he decided to vote for Biden because he did not like Trump’s coronavirus pandemic response and divisive governing style.

“In this case, we can’t afford to have another four years of someone that has very little leadership skills and isn’t able to bring a nation together,” he said.

Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey cautioned against declaring Arizona a Democratic win after the race was called. “I’ll say it again: Let’s count the votes, and let the people decide rather than making declarations,” she wrote on Twitter.

The last Democratic president voted by Arizona was Bill Clinton, who won the state in 1996. During the 2016 elections, Donald Trump’s margins in his Arizona victory were much thinner than the Republicans before him, carrying the state by about 3.5 points.

Vice President Joe Biden
U. S. Vice President Joseph Biden speaks during a memorial service for the late former Israeli president Shimon Peres at the Adas Israel Congregation October 6, 2016 in Washington, DC. Getty Images

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