By Melissa Gome
Alex Rosado, a member of Unite Here Local 11 in Los Angeles, is hitting the streets as a canvasser in Phoenix. “I want to make sure that I’m one of the people responsible for getting [Trump] out of office.”
Alex Rosado hasn’t hugged his father in months, and he blames President Trump. Rosado said the president’s failure to contain the coronavirus pandemic has kept him away from his dad and made him want to work that much harder to make sure Trump loses the election.
So Rosado, a bellman in Los Angeles, left his home in his “guaranteed blue” state and relocated temporarily to Arizona, a battleground where he believes he can help defeat Trump.
Rosado, a member of Unite Here Local 11, had planned to take some time off from work before the election to register voters in the state, but the pandemic stalled his plans. So when the opportunity came to move to Phoenix in July and knock on doors for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, whom his union endorsed, he did not hesitate.
“There was no question I wanted to be here,” Rosado said on a September morning before another day of canvassing. “I want to make sure that I’m one of the people responsible for getting him out of office. … What we’ve been going through — that’s not normal.”
In past presidential cycles, and even for Senate and gubernatorial races, residents of both parties have traveled across state lines to campaign. California GOP strategist Mike Madrid said he remembers droves of Northern California Republicans and Democrats taking multiday trips to Nevada to do outreach in 2016.
This election cycle, many campaigns and organizations shifted to mostly online outreach in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Though the Trump campaign never paused in-person outreach, Biden’s team followed public health guidelines and is only recently starting door-knocking in battleground states including Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Polling shows Biden is leading Trump in Arizona, which hasn’t chosen a Democrat in a presidential race since 1996.
Advocacy groups, labor unions and politically aligned organizations filled in by hiring canvassers in another battleground state, Arizona. Many are from California, whose residents also donate millions to Democratic and Republican candidates in competitive races in other states.