Republican Kari Lake’s defeat in the Arizona governor’s race marks one of the most significant rebukes of midterm candidates who pushed false claims that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election and puts another stain on Trump’s endorsement record just as he’s set to announce plans for running in 2024.
Lake, one of the most prominent voices in denying the results of the 2020 presidential election, lost to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, 50.4% to 49.6%, in a race that took nearly a week for results to be tallied.
Lake is among four Republican gubernatorial swing state candidates who questioned or denied the results of the 2020 presidential election and lost their midterm races, including Tim Michels in Wisconsin, Tudor Dixon in Michigan and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania.
In addition to Lake’s loss in Arizona, Trump-backed Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters–who suggested “big tech censorship” rigged the 2020 election in President Joe Biden’s favor– lost his race to incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D).
Arizona voters also rejected Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, who Trump endorsed while highlighting Finchem’s “courage” to claim Trump won the 2020 presidential election.
Finchem is among at least four Republican secretary of state candidates who lost their midterm races after promoting claims the 2020 presidential election results were inaccurate, including Jim Marchant in Nevada, Kristina Karamo in Michigan and Audrey Trujillo in New Mexico (Trump did not officially endorse Trujillo).
While many midterm candidates vying for prominent offices who questioned or outright denied the results of the 2020 presidential election were defeated in high-profile races, the majority of other election-denying candidates prevailed at the polls, according to a list of more than 370 such candidates for federal and statewide offices compiled by The New York Times. At least 220 had won their races as of November 10, while 120 had lost.
Lake has not officially conceded, but suggested the results were inaccurate in a tweet after the Associated Press called the race for Hobbs on Monday night. “Arizonans know BS when they see it,” she wrote. The tweet was widely mocked for its perceived irony among social media users who saw Hobbs’ victory as a rebuke of Lake’s false claims that Trump is the true winner of the 2020 presidential election.
What To Watch For
Trump is expected to make an announcement about a possible 2024 presidential run at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The announcement comes on the heels of a worse-than-expected midterm performance for the GOP. The party failed to reclaim Senate control and is on track to hold only a slim majority in the House. Many prominent Republicans have linked the party’s failure to materialize a “red wave” on Trump, and some of his allies have shied away from endorsing him for president in 2024 in the wake of the election. It’s unclear whether the distaste for Trump among the party’s leaders stretches to voters, however. In a new Morning Consult poll taken after the election, 47% of voters said they would vote for Trump in 2024, just a one-point drop from the groups’ pre-election poll.
Candidates who backed overturning Trump loss are rebuffed (The Associated Press)