August 3, 2022 at 06:53AM Trump leads Pence: Kari Lake overtakes Karrin Taylor Robson in AZ primary
Kari Lake has overtaken Karrin Taylor Robson in the fiercely contested Arizona GOP primary for governor, with more than three-quarters of the votes declared.
As of 1 a.m. on Wednesday (Mountain Standard Time), Lake was narrowly ahead of Robson by 45.4 to 45.1 percentage points, with 76 percent of votes accounted for, according to The New York Times live tracker.
Lake went into the lead early on Wednesday, having being trailing for much of the time since the polls opened on Tuesday, August 2. She was behind by nine points at around the midway stage of the count.
It appears that Lake managed to chip away at the deficit as polling place votes were tallied. Mail-in ballots were widely expected to favor Robson.
Lake was predicted to win in a number of surveys prior to the vote, with some polls giving her double-digit point lead over Robson.
The GOP gubernatorial election has attracted national attention as the two main candidates are seen as representing opposing sides of the Republican Party’s potential future.
In one corner, there is the Donald Trump-endorsed Lake, who frequently pushes the false claim the 2020 Election was “stolen” from the former president and has even suggested there is voter fraud in the primary she is standing in, without citing any evidence.
Pence’s relationship with Trump fell apart in the wake of the January 6 attack after the former president blamed him for not stopping the certification of the 2020 election results during his role as presiding officer of the Senate, despite Pence not having the authority to do so.
Trump has also frequently attacked Ducey for refusing to overturn Arizona’s 2020 election outcome.
As a result, the GOP primary for governor in Arizona has the subplot of being the center of a proxy war between Trump and Pence—with both men reportedly considering a 2024 run for president. It may also give an indication of whether Republican voters are ready to move on from 2020.
Even Robson has expressed some doubt about the results of the last election, describing them as “absolutely not fair” during a live televised debate, but she stopped short of saying it had been stolen.
By comparison, Lake, a former TV news anchor, has long supported claims that the last election was rigged, and she was already talking about cheating in the case of a defeat in her own election.
“If we don’t win, there’s some cheating going on,” Lake told The New York Times when she was trailing on Tuesday night.
Taking a leaf straight out of Trump’s playbook, Lake also told a crowd of her supporters in Scottsdale that she had already won the election, even though there are still a large number of votes to be declared.
“We won today seven-out-of-10 Election Day votes. Those votes are not counted yet,” Lake said, via KTAR. “There is no path to victory for my opponent and we won this race. Period.”
The winner of the GOP nomination for governor will go on to face Democrat Katie Hobbs in November’s midterms. She is projected to win her primary, with a comprehensive lead over second placed Marco Lopez.