/ Modified sep 17, 2016 7:09 a.m.

Could Arizona's Latino Voters Tip the Scale in November?

Also, excerpt of 1989 interview with Gov. Rose Mofford, who died this week.

In a state where one-third of residents are Latinos, candidates are searching for ways to connect with the formidable demographic.

Arizona is fourth in the nation by proportion of Latino population turnout is still low. Candidates have been trying to turn that around with Spanish-language ads and phone banks making calls targeting the group.

A recent poll from a group called Latino Decisions found that nine out of 10 Latinos reported they plan to cast ballots in November.

Not everyone is convinced this will be the case.

“It think it is a classic situation of intent and turning that into actual behavior,” said John Garcia, a University of Arizona expert on minority group political behavior.

“Clearly, turnout has been going up among Latinos, but it is clearly a lag with other voters.” Still, he said, “there is clearly interest.”

The same poll found that Latino voters nationally considered the economy and jobs as top issues, while Arizona Latinos said immigration was the most important.

Also on the program

Rose Mofford, the first female governor of Arizona, died in Glendale this week at the age of 94.

Governor Mofford worked in state government for more than 50 years, first as a secretary after graduating from high school. She was elected secretary of state in 1978, an office she held until 1988 when she became governor following the impeachment of then-Governor Evan Mecham.

Arizona Week features interview with Mofford conducted the following year in which she speaks about the transition from that turmoil.

Featured this week

  • John Garcia, director of the University of Arizona Resource Center for Minority Data
  • Alejandra Gomez, executive director of Arizona Center for Empowerment
  • Raul Aguirre, communications consultant
  • Rose Mofford, Arizona's first female governor

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