Its surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit
It's been decades since we have seen so much passion in a Presidential Preference Primary election - or any election, as we have seen this year. So many people know without question that this country is hanging by a thread and all of these voters know who they think should rescue the United States. What they don't agree on is who that should be and that is itself the exhilarating part of this process. On the Republican side, there are no bad guys. Nearly half of those voting believe Donald Trump is the best of the good guys. There are no good guys on the Democrat side. Defeating the Democrats is our most important job in November.
Having reviewed the posts and comments on this site and having chatted with people who volunteered for the campaigns, here are our observations:
Winner: the election process overflowing with voters
Loser: voters who stood for hours to vote
The candidate winner of the Arizona Republican primary was announced while thousands of voters still waited in long lines. Our thrill is the determination of those who waited up to four hours to vote - results or no results, they wanted to vote and they wanted that vote to count. Hallelujah!! The Founding Fathers would be happy with the demonstration of love of country shown today.
Both Cruz and Trump campaigns made get out the vote efforts nearly right up to poll closing times. Maybe that was a tad much but that's what wins elections.
Reports are that Cruz and Trump campaigns handled these calls differently. Trump volunteers were instructed to be very polite to all those with whom they spoke, no matter who their choice was and from our interviews, they were. Some people who called in were experts in foul language but everyone has to be really good at something! Cruz volunteers are reported to have hung up on all they called if they were not for Cruz. Some of our team members got those calls and we can testify that is what happened if they didn't prefer Cruz. Volunteers from the Trump offices reported voters called in and made similar reports.
Reports from both campaign volunteers revealed that many Republican voters were given Democrat ballots, were not on the voter roles (even some who had been Republicans for years) and had to vote provisional ballots. Some callers reported there were boxes of provisional ballots in most locations.
The huge SNAFU was by Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Recorder. Maricopa is one of the largest counties in the country. Huge increase of voter turnouts had been experienced in every state that had voted. Yet, Purcell made the decision to cut the voting locations from 400 in 2010, 200 in 2012 to only 60 in a year where interest in this election has been at an all time high. Driving voters away due to the wait time is equal to voter suppression. Purcell seems to be the only person on the planet who underestimated voter turnout but that is her job! This is unacceptable. In our view, this earns her early retirement in November 2016
As of this writing, Trump won more votes than Cruz and Kasich combined. It's speculation as to what effect the protesters had on the outcome. Trump=46%, Cruz=22%, Kasich =10% and the rest went to Rubio and Carson.
Prediction as we close down for the night:
Trump wins 58 delegates in AZ (Total: 738 with MO still not certified);
Cruz (total: 423 + Utah to come) will win Utah and it's very possible for Cruz to take all delegates;
Kasich wins neither state, no delegates and has 123 delegates;
There will be a huge onslaught of early ballot requests before the primary in August! County Recorders - take note!
The unanswered question is what, if any, effect the terrorist attacks in Belgium today had on this race or will have on future elections.
Let's be clear, J.R. We agree 100% that those who receive ballots by mail should return them the same way, no excuses! It makes no sense that they trust the mailman to get it to them but don't trust the mailman to get it back to the Recorders! However, these are not the people who stand in lines. They walk in, drop their ballots into a special container and walk out and leave. No line standing required. We also know that a good many voters are "voting illiterate." We blame the education system for removing Civics classes two generations ago. We would never blame voters themselves for the SNAFU. Using all mail-in ballots has its own problems and we will see if the ballot harvesting bill just signed into law will have any affect. It's all about enforcement... difficult to do. AFA has been on board with ballot harvesting laws since 2012 so we think this at least gives authorities plenty of ammo to arrest and prosecute perpetrators.