Why Kari Lake lost the race for Arizona governor

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 7:54 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The 2020 midterm results were not what most people predicted. In a typical off year election, the President’s party usually takes a shellacking.

But 2022 was not a typical year, especially the race for Arizona Governor which pitted the Democrat Katie Hobbs against the Republican and election denier Kari Lake.

Hobbs narrowly won statewide but in Pima County it was a blowout.

Hobbs won 60.6% of the vote and Lake won 39.4%, a difference of more than 80,000 votes, four times more than Hobbs winning margin.

“You win Maricopa, you win Pima, you’re going to win the state,” said political consultant and CEO of Arizona Highground Chuck Coughlin. “And generally speaking, that’s the rule.

Hobbs did just that with a low-key, small gathering campaign. But it was with purpose.

“This was not Katie Hobbs campaign to go win, she allowed Kari Lake to lose it,” he said. “She didn’t get in the way of people voting against Kari Lake.

Many of those people voting against Lake did not come from the opposition party. Many Republicans switched but it was likely another factor that put Hobbs over the top.

“Unaffiliated voters,” Coughlin said. “Early unaffiliated voters we know for sure were abandoning Republicans and we also know that election day drop offs were not going towards Republicans.”

Lake’s campaign was so concerned about what happened in Pima County, that one of its supporters posted a map on twitter, redlining Tucson out of Arizona and into Mexico, building a wall at Speedway Blvd.

As humorous as that take may be, the problems run much deeper for the Republican party and Pima County is the least of it.

“As long as the Republicans continue to invest in the Trump narrative of stolen elections, they’re going to lose,” he said. “I mean, that’s the lesson here.”

Whether the lesson will be heeded in campaigns to come is still a great unknown but Coughlin believes if its not, the state of Arizona will likely continue to trend blue.

The Congressional 6 is a perfect example.

It was redistricted for this election to give the Republicans an 8% advantage but Republican Juan Ciscomoni beat Democrat Kristen Engle by only 1%, a much tighter race than was expected.

“It’s a sign of just how ill the Republican party is, it’s got long COVID case,” he said. “It can’t operate the way it’s operating. “If they want to win elections, their narrative has to move on.”

Moving on is likely dumping former President Donald Trump as its standard bearer.

“Trump’s a loser, that’s the message Ron DeSantis and Republicans have to face,” he said. “He’s a loser, he’s got to go.”