Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) is looking to oust her Democrat opponent, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), in the upcoming midterm election as the right-winger has taken the lead in recent polling.
Lake, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is seen by many to be the next evolution in the “Make America Great Again” movement.
“If you get a candidate who has the performance skills of a major market local TV anchor and the philosophy and thinking of Steve Bannon, that's a potent and dangerous combination,” explained former Obama advisor David Axelrod. “Look at Italy.”
Despite trailing behind Hobbs for the entirety of the campaign, Kari Lake has been able to invigorate voters with her personality and TV star persona. Recent polling has the GOP candidate up 0.9 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight.
The former local news anchor is showing strength with a YouGov poll finding the candidates tied, an OH Predictive Insights poll giving Lake a three-point lead, and an InsiderAdvantage poll giving the Republican a four-point lead. Each of those polls was conducted in early October, per FiveThirtyEight.
What perhaps explains her rise is Hobbs' refusal to debate her opponent telling MSNBC, “How do you debate someone who refuses to accept the truth, who doesn’t live in facts, and it doesn’t do any service to the voters in terms of deciding, looking at the contrast between us and how we’re going to govern if all she’s going to is shout over me, interrupt me, and spew lies?”
“You wonder as a candidate if you’re doing everything you should be doing,” said Sandra Kennedy, the chair of President Biden's 2020 campaign in Arizona, to CBS News. “You don’t want to wait till the day after the election and think, ‘Would I have done it another way?’
“I can’t say to you that she should have done or shouldn’t have done certain things,” Kennedy explained, adding, “She’s the candidate. But if I were the candidate for governor, I would debate, and I would want the people of Arizona to know what my platform is. And I would lay it out — lay it out in a way so they will know the difference between me and Kari Lake.”
Further strengthening Lake's profile is her acceptance by the Republican establishment within Arizona. Current Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who also heads the Republican Governors Association, backs the MAGA firebrand which has led to considerable donations being thrown her way.
Democrats fear that if she were elected to the Governor's mansion, she would travel across the country campaigning for GOP candidates and would be a repeat guest on Fox News.
“I'm sure a big part of why Trump likes her is that TV experience. In the same way, he understood how to use media and avoid questions that he didn't want to answer, she certainly has that,” said former senior Hillary Clinton adviser Karen Finney, adding Lake is a “more polished version” of MAGA, as reported by Axios.
Lake represents a new generation of leadership in the Republican Party and, if elected, will likely be a superstar of the right. She's unwilling to be bullied by the Left and is a fighter who will serve the people of the Copper State.
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