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Kari Lake Positioned to Lead GOP Copper State Comeback

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2024
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by Andrew Shirley
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58 Comments
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AMAC EXCLUSIVE

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Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore | Flickr

With just over six months to go until Election Day, Republican Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake is being outraised and outspent by her Democrat opponent, Congressman Ruben Gallego, by a 2-1 margin. But Lake, a former television news anchor, has refused to give up the fight, and may yet pull out a victory this November.

With Democrat-turned-Independent Kyrsten Sinema electing to not run for re-election in the Copper State this year, the liberal money machine has poured immense resources into holding the seat. Gallego, a former Marine originally from Chicago, has spent $4.5 million on the race so far and has an additional $9.6 million on hand to flood the airwaves in the final months of the race.

Lake, meanwhile, has spent $2.4 million and has just over $2.5 million in the bank.

Despite Gallego’s clear money advantage, the race remains within reach for Lake. The latest RealClearPolitics polling average has Gallego with a six-point lead, but he appears to be trending in the wrong direction. An Emerson poll from February found Gallego to have a seven-point edge, while the same pollster reported just a two-point lead for Gallego a month later.

Republicans are eager for a turnaround in Arizona following a series of setbacks in recent years. After the GOP presidential nominee carried Arizona in every election since 2000, Biden eked out a victory there by just over 10,000 votes in 2020 (notably amid serious questions about election integrity).

This year, Arizona’s 11 electoral votes are again a top target for both candidates. In a closely contested race, there are several scenarios where Arizona could prove decisive.

Democrats have also seen a turnaround in their Senate fortunes in Arizona in recent years. In 2018, Sinema won the race to replace the retiring Republican Jeff Flake. Two years later, Democrat Mark Kelly defeated Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to fill the seat of the late John McCain. In 2022, Kelly won re-election to a full six-year term.

Republicans also saw disappointing results in other statewide races two years ago – as Lake knows well. She was the GOP nominee for governor, coming up just over 17,000 votes short against Democrat Katie Hobbs. Democrats also won all but two statewide offices after Republicans controlled every office as recently as 2016.

A significant factor hampering GOP success in Arizona has been the disconnect between the state’s elected Republicans and conservative voting base. Flake and McCain were both notorious for opposing conservative priorities in the Senate, earning the ire of Republican voters in Arizona and throughout the country. McCain infamously cast the deciding vote to kill the effort to repeal Obamacare. Flake, meanwhile, joined with Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to put wind in the sails of the Democrat effort to smear Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

With these two senators hopelessly out of step with rank-and-file Republican voters, a significant number of Republicans in Arizona switched their party affiliation to “independent.” The resulting lack of voter enthusiasm became a major crisis for Arizona Republican candidates that the party is still dealing with today.

However, despite the seeming leftward trend of the state, there are signs that Republicans are well-positioned for a resurgence this year. Former President Donald Trump currently leads Joe Biden by five points in Arizona in the latest RealClearPolitics average. Moreover, not only has Lake kept the race competitive despite the financial shortfalls, but last month the GOP reemerged as the top party for registered voters.

Issue polling also shows that Democrat policies are deeply unpopular with Arizona voters. A February survey found that “the cost of living” is the top issue for Arizonans, with 83 percent saying it is a “serious problem.” Another poll from Noble Predictive Insights found voters’ top issue to be immigration, followed closely by inflation.

Additionally, Arizona is still struggling under the weight of a major crime wave. A recent study found that Phoenix was the worst city in the country for illicit drug use, specifically cocaine and meth – a crisis directly exacerbated by the open border.

For Lake, tying Gallego to his votes for Biden’s trillion-dollar spending bills and open-borders policies will be key to success this fall. While Gallego is now attempting to recast himself as a pragmatic moderate, his actual voting record says otherwise.

So far, Lake has leaned into this strategy, focusing her campaign on what voters are most concerned about.

Gallego, meanwhile, has leaned heavily into the abortion issue, accusing Lake of trying to ban all abortions across the state. While abortion has received significant national media focus, polling suggests that Arizona voters are more concerned with the economy and the border. Following an Arizona Supreme Court decision that the state must enforce an 1864 law banning all abortions except when the life of the mother is at stake, Lake has called for “common-sense” legislation that brings the law more in line with where most Arizona voters stand.

Gallego’s funding advantage will certainly be a challenge for Lake to overcome. But with Biden’s poor poll numbers and Democrat policies growing ever more unpopular, Lake may just be poised to pull off a historic underdog victory.

Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

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PaulE
PaulE
20 days ago

While Lake should win the election, just like she should have won her last election, it will once again come down to how many voting machines malfunction in Republican leaning areas of the state or how many boxes of ballots magically are found in some poll worker’s car trunk all marked for Gallego. So, the election odds remain a toss-up at this point.

The Republican Party in the state of Arizona better be planning to have a lot of observers stationed in the polling places and counting centers the day of the election and afterwards to ensure some degree of election integrity.

Larry
Larry
20 days ago

I like this woman, she is a Fire-Brand and Democrats fear her.
The problem with Arizona is too many Left-Coast liberals have moved there. Sadly they don’t change their liberal way of voting.

uncleferd
uncleferd
20 days ago

“Democrats” have become quite accustomed to stealing elections with counterfeit ballots as of late. I hope Republicans provide lots of diligence in keeping an eye on things.

Ann Waters
Ann Waters
20 days ago

As a Real Conservative in AZ, this article makes me sick. AZ finally has a Great, QUALIFIED candidate for the Senate and that person is Sheriff MARK LAMB. He has dedicated over 20 years standing up and fighting the crime, cartels, illegals and drugs on the ground and has run the Sheriff Dept with over 600 employees and successfully managed a budget in the Millions. He is a lifelong Conservative and has proven his commitment to conservative values with decades of work to protect AZ citizens. We need a fighter with Real Life experience in the Senate! FAKE kari LAKE has proven herself to be UNQUALIFIED to run anything but her mouth.. She has done NOTHING for AZ but burden our State with her frivolous, losing lawsuits and their immense costs. She is a lifelong LIBERAL who has NEVER voted for TRUMP, but instead, as a registered DEMOCRAT, voted for Hillary instead and donated, knocked on doors, and Voted for OBAMA/Biden 2 times, saying “There would be a lot of love for Joe Biden”. She was against guns and the 2nd Amendment, pro abortion and was great friends with the Drag Queens in Phoenix, partying at their clubs for years, even hosting a Drag Queen birthday party at her home with her kids present. She only decided to slap an “R” after her name when she realized she couldn’t beat a member of her Democrat party, Katie Hobbs for gov. and donated $160,000 (plus much more) to Trump for his “endorsement” and then lost her campaign because Real Conservatives in AZ saw through her BS and did NOT vote for her. She has done Nothing but talk. Sheriff MARK LAMB is the real deal and has proven, with his decades of on the ground work, that HE is a Real Leader and the fighter We, the People in AZ need in the Senate, NOT an empty suit with empty words like FAKE kari LAKE!
Whoever wrote this article seems to forget (intentionally, I am sure), that we Republicans and Independents in AZ have a chance to elect a REAL CONSERVATIVE and a Fighter to the Senate, Sheriff MARK LAMB! HE can defeat Gallego!
Please support, donate, volunteer, Vote for and Elect Sheriff MARK LAMB for Senate!

Thinking
Thinking
20 days ago

Abortion should not be a political issue. Get the government out of our bedrooms. The country is at stake as a whole. Each citizen should vote accordingly not the local issues in a presidential election. That the dems are now busy in four states to indict those who branded the 2020 election fraudulent should be enough evidence that the election indeed was fraudulent. Why otherwise bring charges at this late date to cover up what they did in 2020. They are getting away with election fraud again. The DA’s and the courts with their Soros paid judges will see to it. Vote Republican, to safe America.

David
David
20 days ago

Sheriff Lamb would be the better senator. Lake should drop out and continue pursuing to be governor!

lawrence greenberg
lawrence greenberg
20 days ago

I fear Ms. Lake has no chance. She is in a state run by a corrupt, Leftist governor who is in office by virtue of a stolen election. Likewise, the AG is a corrupt Leftist also in office by virtue of a stolen election. The state judges appear to also be corrupt, as does the state’s election commission, including even those with an “R” after their name. With all of those people running the show, I don’t see how Ms. Lake has any chance of attaining elective office.

Fred Noel
Fred Noel
20 days ago

Mail in ballot fraud and corruption was profected in Arizona. With Shady Katie Hobbs as our installed Governor it’s going to be hard for any Republican to ever get elected in Arizona. Keri Lake was cheated out of being our Governor in 2022.

goldeneagle1947
goldeneagle1947
20 days ago

Kari Lake did not lose the gubernatorial race. The Arizona version of the American Marxist cheat machine gave Katy Slobbs the “win”.

BACKWOODS
BACKWOODS
20 days ago

lindellplan.com The man is fighting for fair elections with out machines

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
20 days ago

The key is for Republicans to vote EARLY so that the “broken” voting machines in heavily red precincts won’t be an issue like in 2022!!

Joe
Joe
19 days ago

The Arizona republican’s need to purge all the mcstain republican’s out or nothing is going to happen there.

Matt D
Matt D
19 days ago

Lets hope that Lake and Trump will win Nov 5, 2024 to make right that was done wrong with all the election fraud and interference in the 2020 General and 2022 midterms

SpecOps
SpecOps
20 days ago

SHERIFF MARK LAMB is the BEST Choice for AZ. Kari Lake is all talk and out of both sides of her mouth. SHERIFF MARK LAMB has proven himself over and over and will lead AZ and the USA in the Right Direction.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
20 days ago

Victory Hooray Yes

Patti
Patti
20 days ago

Arizona would finally get a Senator who cares about the state. AZ has not had that for years. Voters, do your research on candidates before casting your vote. Lake cares about her state and its people.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
20 days ago

It went from “Republicans want to take away your social security” to “take away your abortions”! My, how times change….

Barrett T Smith
Barrett T Smith
20 days ago

The left cannot let her win. She is too strong for them.

Futurelight
Futurelight
19 days ago

Your bank account is depending on you not to vote D this time. Remember, this is the last chance to save you and your children’s future spending power in the USA.

Timothy Blaney
Timothy Blaney
20 days ago

It would be nice to see a occasional ad for Lake, and of course the RNC will probably do nothing for her. I think the GOP has written off Arizona.

Matt Newman
Matt Newman
19 days ago

Is Katie Hobbs still in charge of elections?

BillBoy Baggins
BillBoy Baggins
20 days ago

“pull off a historic underdog victory”. It’s “an historic” …
I know, I knit pick.

Adonis
Adonis
20 days ago

They will steal election from her again.

Rabi
Rabi
14 days ago

pray they don’t cheat again!!!!

Susan Daniels
Susan Daniels
19 days ago

Lake got overconfident and didn’t pay attention that the race would be stolen from her. Will she do it again?

Katie L
Katie L
20 days ago

Kari Lake can’t be trusted. She flip-flops on issues, most recently abortion. She was a liberal Democrat until she wanted to run for public office. She’ll say and do whatever it takes to get herself elected; then she’ll become part of the uni-party in Washington. I’m voting for a solid conservative, SHERIFF MARK LAMB. I wish the media would not ignore his candidacy.

johnh
johnh
20 days ago

Refusal to accept election results have cost this person a lot of respect with voters. In an election, someone must win & someone must lose & that is how it works.

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