How Indigenous voters swung the 2020 election
November 9, 2020
This year's presidential election has been a close race in a handful of states, including Arizona. On Wednesday, for just the second time in 70 years, the Associated Press called the race for a Democratic presidential candidate, in part due to the Native vote.
Indigenous people in Arizona comprise nearly 6% of the population - 424,955 people as of 2018 - and eligible voters on the Navajo Nation alone number around 67,000. Currently, the margin between Democratic candidate Joe Biden - who has released a robust policy plan for Indian Country - and incumbent President Donald Trump is just under 41,000 as of Friday morning.
Precinct-level data shows that outside of heavily blue metropolitan areas like Phoenix and Tucson, which also have high numbers of Indigenous voters, much of the rural blue islands that have voted for Biden and Mark Kelly, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, are on tribal lands. On some Tohono O'odham Nation precincts, Biden and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris won 98% of the vote. As reported Thursday by the Navajo Times, the three counties that overlap with the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation gave Biden 73,954 votes, and just 2,010 for Trump, a rate of 97% for Biden as opposed to 51% statewide.