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The 2022 Arizona GOP Primary: A Post-Mortem
I had a front row seat to the Arizona Republican Primary gubernatorial proceedings last Tuesday evening. On a road trip to California, I decided to make a pit stop in Scottsdale to be part of the Kari Lake for Governor watch party, which hosted several well-known Arizona grassroots patriots, as well as a few candidates, like Mark Finchem, who stopped by after he was confident that he himself was on the way to victory in the Secretary of State race.
Although I am hesitant to rely on anecdotes to make projections or confirm events in the rearview mirror, they are relevant. Just as, nearly two years later, you hear constant commentary about Trump boat parades and the disparity obvious between Trump or Biden campaign yard sign density, the same conversations are also prevalent surrounding the Lake vs. Robson race in the recently concluded primary.
I will make it simple. No one outside of cliquey McCain Mafia circles even knows who Karrin Taylor Robson is. She, at the time of the primary, had fewer than 600 Truth Social Followers, and had not amassed even 1,700 Twitter followers. Of course, social media platforms don’t vote, but underdog candidates don’t take down political dynamos (which Kari Lake is) unless they have a following, whether cultlike or otherwise constituted.
I am not reliant on polls, but the two most reliable pollsters, Robert Cahaly of Trafagar Group (Lake +11), and Richard Baris, “The People’s Pundit,” both had Lake winning comfortably.
Other pollsters, like Rasmussen, Cygnal, and OHPI, had Lake as high as +18, contributing to a Real Clear Politics average of Lake +9.3%, with roughly 10% undecided. Lake took election day voting by a ratio exceeding 7:3, which means those undecideds were nearly all for Lake. Lake, particularly when compared to the rest of the field, appears to be a candidate likely to win nearly 60 percent of the vote, not the meager 47.7% (margin of 4.3%) she appears set to hold in the certified results.
Keep in mind, regarding polling, if a poll for a populist is strong, it generally means said populist (in this case, “America First”) is going to utterly trounce the opponent, thanks to unaccounted for election day votes from low propensity, otherwise “unpollable” voters. Non-conservative polling is generally watered down or openly rigged to suppress the turnout of anti-establishment voters, so if those polls allude to a populist win, they are generally looking to save face and maintain credibility by acknowledging a win (a classic example is when the mainstream media accidentally coughed up national bellwether Ohio for Trump in 2016 with a couple months to go).
Blake Masters, GOP nominee for U.S. Senate won by 12, in line with many polls leading up to the election, and within 3 points of the Real Clear Politics average. Finchem, easily the most polarizing and controversial of the trio, won his race by nearly 20 points.
Why so much electile dysfunction in the Governor’s race, with perhaps the most popular national Republican rookie of the cycle winning in a clunker over an unknown with establishment ties, who won’t even acknowledge the fraudulent 2020 election, but smooth sailing for the other America First types?
Consider the logic:
Masters for Senate: Green-lighted to win the primary but can be targeted in the general on the narrative of being too young and inexperienced, while running against an incumbent who also happens to be an astronaut.
Finchem for Secretary of State/Hamadeh for Attorney General: Green-light both to win the primary, and paint as too extreme for the November electorate.
Lake for Governor: As is the case when prominent populist candidates arise (defies normal party boundaries), the November electorate may be unpredictable, especially with low propensity voters likely to come out in droves for a unique candidate who has gracefully destroyed the mainstream media for more than a year. Letting her into the general, in a Biden midterm nonetheless, is too risky, because if she is Arizona’s next governor, she can fundamentally overhaul the state and expose unprecedented corruption with executive action, even if dealt a non-compliant, RINO-filled legislature. Notably, she has also pledged to resurrect the 2020 election when she takes office.
Just how much manipulation was occurring? That is hard to discern; however, of the four major statewide GOP races, each posted this many total votes:
Secretary of State: 754,353
Attorney General: 770,271
U.S. Senate: 790,830
Am I to believe 55,563 voters took a GOP primary ballot, voted for Governor, but did not vote for a Secretary of State candidate? It is not much of a secret that Lake voters will overwhelmingly favor Trump-backed Finchem; but in the case of acute RINOism, there were options for Robson voters, like the lukewarm political anchovy Michelle Ugenti-Rita. She would uphold the crooked Katie Hobbs system of elections in Arizona and ensure the movement to remedy 2020 disappears. One would expect anyone who has ever heard of Robson to support someone like her.
So, as the math goes, 1 in 15 Republican primary voters apparently showed up to vote for the top race and couldn’t get all the way down to Secretary of State. Perhaps a show was coming on, or Pokémon needed to be chased, and time wouldn’t allow a thorough completion of the ballot?
The last time the GOP had an open gubernatorial seat, in 2014, the field combined for 541,440 votes. Primaries are supposed to have low turnout. Yes, the state is growing, but is it going to grow by more than a quarter million GOP primary voters in eight years? The 2014 turnout was actually down from 587,683 four years prior. In 2006, with no incumbent governor, GOP primary voters kicked in just 308,094 votes.
In conclusion, if the Finchem race, with 754,353 votes, shows the actual turnout of the race, and the assumption is that there are 55,563 extra votes for someone with no following, Lake would have prevailed by nearly 12 points, in line with polling leading up to the election.
Remember, it took wicked levels of election day support to overcome what was becoming a pall over the Lake watch party last Tuesday night. Maricopa County wound up down at the proverbial OK Corral, with every patriot knowing they were the only county with the votes to flip the race. They blinked.
And they lost.