A third political party is coming to Arizona. The Gaggle podcast breaks it down

Andrew Yang was in Phoenix recently to promote his Forward Party.
Andrew Yang was in Phoenix recently to promote his Forward Party.

Arizona is one of the nation’s newest swing states — and one of the most competitive.

President Joe Biden’s 2020 win in Arizona had the smallest margin of any state in the country. Arizona is working on its fourth straight cycle with a competitive Senate race, which could be a three-way contest next year.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema left the Democratic Party to register as an independent earlier this year, and the No Labels and Forward parties are raising their profiles across the state.

Tech entrepreneur and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang was in Phoenix last weekend to promote his Forward Party, just days after the No Labels Party qualified as a new political party in this state.

Third parties are nothing new to Arizona or U.S. politics. But they are often viewed as spoilers by both Democrats and Republicans.

This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, hosts Ron Hansen and Mary Jo Pitzl are joined by AJ Simmons. He is the research director at the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Springfield, and an Arizona native.

He joined the show to discuss the effects of third parties and different voting processes.

Listen to the episode

The best way to listen is to subscribe to The Gaggle on your favorite podcast app, but you also can stream the full episode below.

Note: The Gaggle is intended to be heard. But we also offer an AI transcript of the episode script. There may be slight deviations from the podcast audio.

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Questions welcome

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Reach the producer at aluberto@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandaluberto.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Gaggle podcast: How will third parties affect AZ's future elections?