February 28, 2012 Arizona Presidential Primary 

revised June 19, 2012

Background: AZ SOS: Ballot Order  |  Center for American Progress: Arizona's Demographic Changes...
Reactions: Democrats

Arizona's presidential primary, with 29 delegates at stake, was overshadowed by the competitive primary in Michigan, where former Gov. Mitt Romney's candidacy was seen to be on the line.  The highlight of the Arizona campaign was the CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate in Mesa on the evening of February 22. 

The Republican primary ballot listed 23 candidates (compared to 24 in 2008); there was also a Green Party primary with six candidates competing.  Unlike in 2008 there was no Democratic primary; Democrats selected their delegates at district caucuses on March 31 and a state committee meeting on April 21.

The Secretary of State reported 511,812 ballots were cast by 1,129,651 registered voters for a turnout of 45.31%; 1,124,726 registered Republicans cast 511,239 Republican ballots.  (By comparision 1,042,294 registered Republicans cast 541,035 ballots in the Feb. 5, 2008 Republican primary won by Sen. John McCain).

Registration: Rep. 1,124,726 (35.89%)   Dem. 951,359 (30.35%)   Lib. 22,456 (0.72%)   Other 1,030,643 (32.88%)  Grn. 4,925  Am. 125   Total 3,134,234.

Romney carried every county. 

Republican Primary
official, 722 of 722 precincts reporting


Rick Perry 2,023  -  Sarah Gonzales 1,544  -  Buddy Roemer 692  -  Paul Sims 530  -  Cesar Cisneros 418  -  Mark Callahan 358  -  Al "Dick" Perry 310  -  Donald Benjamin 223  -  Michael Levinson 217  -  Kip Dean 198  -  Ronald Zack 156  -  Christopher Hill  139  -  Frank Lynch 110  -  Wayne Charles Arnett 96  -  Raymond Scott Perkins 90  -  Matt Welch 86  -  Jim Terr 59  -  Charles Skelley 57  -  Simon Bollander 54

Democrats: Did not participate in the primary.

Greens: Jill Stein 385 (68.6%) of 561 votes.  Gary Swing, Michael Oatman, Kent Mesplay, Richard Grayson, Gerard Davis all received fewer than 50 votes.

Setting the Primary Date
State law sets the presidential preference election on the fourth Tuesday in February (Arizona Revised Statutes Title 16, Chapter 2, Article 4), but also gives the governor the authority to move the date forward by proclamation.
  (The February 28 date violates RNC and DNC Rules).  In January 2011 the Arizona Republican Party's Resolutions Committee passed a resolution calling on Gov. Brewer to set the primary on the first Tuesday in February; however, the State Committee, meeting on Jan. 22, 2011, rejected the resolution on a voice vote (+).  The issue arose again later in 2011.  Gov. Jan Brewer leaned towards moving the date ahead of February 28, reportedly to January 31.  The prospect of an RNC-sanctioned debate possibly in Dec. 2011 seems to have dissuaded this notion, and on Sept. 12, 2011 Brewer signed a proclamation setting the date at February 28.

Arizona Republican Party Proposed Resolution from Jan. 2011:

Resolution #12 - DEFEATED
Resolution Calling for a February Presidential Preference Primary
WHEREAS, among the western United States, Arizona's population best represents the national population of American voters, and
WHEREAS, Arizona's large and diverse population deserves to play a meaningful role in the selection of the Republican Party's nominee in 2012, and
WHEREAS, Arizona's Republican voters have a distinguished history of representing the best of Republican values;
NOW  THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the State Committee of the Arizona Republican Party calls upon Governor Janice K. Brewer to use the authority vested in her, pursuant to ARS §16-241(B), to proclaim that Arizona's next Presidential preference election shall occur on the first Tuesday in February of 2012.