If anyone needs more evidence that “Stop the Steal” was a loser for the GOP this year, the party’s Arizona wipeout is definitive. On Monday Kari Lake joined the list of Republicans in the Grand Canyon State who ran on the stolen 2020 election and lost.
Ms. Lake, a former TV news anchor, had all the sparkling charisma that Donald Trump’s other favorite candidates lacked. She loved telling off journalists. She called 2020 “a corrupt, stolen election,” and she repeated that line to the bitter end. As Mr. Trump bragged in a phone call captured on tape: “If they say, ‘How is your family?’ she says, ‘The election was rigged and stolen.’”
But she lost, 49.6% to 50.4%, according to the latest data. The Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Katie Hobbs, ran an uninspiring campaign and went all in for the teachers union. She still won. As a reminder of how winnable Arizona should be for Republicans, Gov. Doug Ducey was re-elected in 2018 by 14 points and is finishing a highly successful second term that includes statewide school choice and a 2.5% flat tax.
Abraham Hamadeh, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Attorney General, promised a “day of reckoning” for “those who worked to rob President Trump in the rigged 2020 election.” That race isn’t called yet and could go to a recount, but Mr. Hamadeh is currently losing, 49.9% to 50.1%.
Mark Finchem, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Secretary of State, essentially made himself a walking referendum on 2020 fraud theories. He lost, 47.6% to 52.4%.
Blake Masters, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Senate, said in an early ad: “I think Trump won.” After he captured the GOP nomination, he tried to pivot by decrying the influence of Big Tech, while saying he saw no evidence of fraudulent vote totals. That earned him a debasing rebuke from Mr. Trump. Mr. Masters lost, 46.5% to 51.4%.
One person who deserves special mention for orchestrating these defeats is Kelli Ward, Arizona’s Republican state chair. She has now presided over the loss of two Senate seats and nearly all of the top statewide jobs. [Continue reading…]