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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:51 GMT
Arizona

Republican prospects in Arizona are fairly strong, even though the state uncharacteristically went for Bill Clinton in 1996.

Key facts
Population: 4,428,068 (ranked 24 among states)
Governor: Jane Dee Hull (R)
Electoral College votes: 8
This was probably due to the president's stand on the environment and in particular his announcement of a Utah land reserve at the Grand Canyon.

Bill Clinton also managed to secure 90% of the considerable and growing Hispanic vote in 1996, but it remains to be seen whether this is more than a temporary upturn in the fortunes of Arizona's Democrats.

In the primaries much of the focus will be on the presidential bid of Republican Senator John McCain, a man whose politics match that of an innately conservative state but who has a difficult relationship with other Arizona Republicans.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 1 Democrat, 5 Republic
Senate: 2 Republicans
Private technology enterprises are the key to Arizona's phenomenal economic growth since World War II, when projects were set up that shunned New Deal cultural liberalism and instead embraced private enterprise and new technology.

Senator Barry Goldwater championed this approach during the 1950s and 1960s. He helped ensure that between 1952 and 1996 Arizona was the only state to vote Republican in every presidential election.

Voting record
1996: Clinton 47%, Dole 44%
1992: Bush 38%, Clinton 37%, Perot 24%
1988: Bush 60%, Dukakis 39%
The private sector is still growing and especially in the field of technology, with support from major employers including Motorola, Intel and Tucson's Hughes Aircraft.

In the 1990s a strong economy has led to sharp cuts in state taxes and rapid population growth - from 700,00 in 1945 to 4.6 million in 1998.

But Arizona still has a high poverty rate, especially among the large native American population. Hispanics make up about 18% of the state's population and native Americans 6%.

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