Before you could say, "Hillary sweeps Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Florida, and North Carolina", the Clinton campaign was already running advertisements in Spanish to the voters in Arizona, a week before their 85 delegates are up for grabs. A race in which the door is slowly but surely closing any chances of a Bernie Sanders victory, the Arizona election could be the death knell of the Sanders campaign. The candidate was in Arizona on Tuesday and thousands of supporters came to hear his message at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Arizona calls next Tuesday's election a "presidential preference election", whereby party members vote their candidate of choice for the party convention in July. Clinton has done much better in closed primary elections, where only party members are allowed to participate, meaning only registered Democrats will get a chance to decide between Sanders and Clinton in Arizona. Clinton continues to outpace Sanders among Democrats even in states she has lost.
Arizona also has a 30-day registration deadline. If you were not a registered Democrat before February 22nd and you want to vote for Bernie Sanders, you will need to sit on the sidelines come March 22nd.
Hillary Clinton's ad titled Valentía, which means courage, begins with an ominous reminder of the political landscape in Arizona, pairing Donald Trump and Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the first frame of the video. Joe Arpaio has run a popularity contest based on ridiculing prisoners with gimmicks of pink underwear and housing them in his infamous "tent city", an outdoor detention facility that sits in the scorching Sonoran desert heat on the outskirts of Phoenix. Arpaio, who fancies himself "America's toughest Sheriff", has also made a career off anti-immigrant sentiment in Arizona.
Tim Hogan, Hillary Clinton's Arizona Communications Director, says the Spanish ad is meant to represent Hillary's longtime record of standing with the Latino community. "We are reaching out to all communities in Arizona, including the latino community, and we want to make sure that we are communicating the message of breaking down barriers to everyone", said Hogan.
Hogan says that the Clinton campaign will continue rolling out new ads targeting voters ahead of the Arizona primary.
Jane Sanders, Bernie’s wife, recently visited the tent city and confronted Joe Arpaio on the treatment of his prisoners. Jane Sanders has also been in Arizona promoting Native American rights, visiting Native American leaders and discussing controversial federal legislation that will allow a copper mine to be constructed and operated on sacred Native American ground.
Arizona has been ground zero for Latino politics since former Governor Jan Brewer decided to use anti-immigrant sentiment to her advantage when her popularity among the electorate was waning amidst a poor economic outlook during the recession. With her poll numbers dropping, and with an election coming up in 2010, she embraced Senate Bill 1070, authorizing police to check the immigration status of anyone detained or arrested if there was “reasonable suspicion” that they were not legally authorized to stay in the United States.
Jan Brewer recently endorsed Donald Trump, along with other prominent leaders responsible for anti-immigrant legislation, such as Kris Kobach, an architect of SB1070, and Jeff Sessions, Senator of Alabama, who himself came under close scrutiny for praising the Ku Klux Klan in the past.