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Home News & Events Arizona Capitol Times: Engaging the broader electorate in 2024

Arizona Capitol Times: Engaging the broader electorate in 2024

Posted on February 02, 2024 • Category: Op-Ed
By Sybil Francis, Ph.D., Chair, President & CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona

Arizona Capitol Times

As we approach the 2024 election, it is crucial for both candidates for office and current elected leaders in Arizona to focus on the issues that matter most to voters.

Elected officials and aspiring candidates alike have a unique position from which to shape Arizona's political landscape. It is not just about winning races but about addressing the real concerns of Arizonans. Now is the time to steer the conversation from mere spectacle to substantive debate and productive dialogue.

While voters and the media bear some responsibility, local and state leaders– and those who want to fill these offices– represent the voting public and hold a very important key to shaping Arizona's political environment.

In 2024, it is more important than ever to move beyond partisanship and division, focusing on what Arizonans agree on and care about most.

Center for the Future of Arizona's deep portfolio of survey data over 15 years shows that Arizonans agree on much more than we disagree on important issues like education, jobs, immigration and the environment. Our data indicates a strong consensus among Arizonans on these issues, yet we also find large gaps between what Arizonans want and what gets translated into results that reflect this reality.

One need only look at the large number of successful ballot initiatives over the years as an indicator that voters need and want results that are more in line with their concerns on issues that matter to them than our politics are delivering.

Arizona voters across the state and political affiliations have faith in the fairness, safety and security of elections.

Yet our data have also shown that only 33% of Arizonans believe our leaders represent the diverse voices of Arizonans.

The 2024 election presents a huge opportunity to close gaps in expectations and outcomes, build trust, and address voter disillusionment.

Successfully engaging voters is more than campaign rhetoric; it involves listening, demonstrating an understanding of what matters, and proposing viable solutions – the latter of which was a top factor among Arizona voters in selecting a candidate to vote for in the 2022 election.

Additionally, a supermajority of Arizona voters prefer to choose candidates who are willing to compromise and work across the aisle to get things done. A focus on meaningful dialogue over partisan divides can foster a more engaged and informed electorate.

Candidates and elected leaders hold platforms that drive the public dialogue. This election cycle, candidates for office and elected leaders can set the tone for a positive and inclusive political atmosphere and provide realistic solutions that speak directly to the shared priorities of the broader electorate.

At Center for the Future of Arizona, we are focused on what matters to Arizonans, including in election years. We believe that Arizona will thrive when the things that matter the most to a majority of Arizonans are addressed in our political debate and dialogue and reflected in our politics and policies. This is why we have created the Arizona Voters' Agenda, which will be available as an essential resource for the 2024 election.

Let’s focus this election on the concerns that are most important to the vast majority of voters and bring the people of Arizona together to achieve the full potential of our state.


Sybil Francis, Ph.D., is chair, president & CEO of Center for the Future of Arizona, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.