Republic: Governor's address sought broad appeal

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Arizona Republic reported that Gov. Doug Ducey, in his final State of the State address before asking voters to return him to the executive office, invoked issues that should bridge any political or ideological divide, such as fighting opioid abuse, seizing illegal drugs and guns at the border and going after impaired wrong-way drivers.

From a purely political standpoint, observers say, Ducey’s 56-minute speech Monday afternoon was likely intended to appeal to moderate voters — particularly Republican women and independents, a portion of the electorate that traditionally is up for grabs.

"He’s tailoring it for a broad appeal ... and he’s floating the net to make this group happy and that group happy," David Berman, a senior research fellow at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, said of Ducey’s approach.

"He’s trying to do what he can to prevent some kind of disaster for himself and for the Republican Party here. There’s nothing that’s going to happen from here on out that doesn’t have something do do with the 2018 election. It’s election season. And we’re in it."

Ducey has drawn two well-known Democratic challengers, Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, and David Garcia, an associate professor at Arizona State University.

Ducey and his aides appear confident, given the state's estimated four-point GOP registration advantage, his fundraising capabilities, his connections to the conservative Koch donor network and the advantages of incumbency.

READ: With re-election looming, Ducey sought to make no waves with speech