Although there are still key races in Arizona yet to have been called, many analysts say they believe, overall, there will be good results for Republican “MAGA” candidates. The rate of return of ballots in the remaining precincts appears to be heavily favoring Republicans, since a large portion of them are from Republican-majority counties and voters who cast their ballot on Election Day – who tend to be conservative.
George Khalaf, the managing partner of The Resolute Group and owner of the Data Orbital polling company, told The Arizona Sun Times he was “confident all statewide Republicans (outside of Masters/Finchem) will prevail.” He said, “I believe there is still a path for Masters/Finchem but that will depend a lot on how well they did with the early ballots dropped off on Election Day. When it is all said and done, I think Kari wins by around 3 percent (close to our final poll).”
Most political analysts The Sun Times spoke with said Kari Lake would win the governor’s race, even though she was about 4,000 votes behind Wednesday afternoon, and Abe Hamadeh, who is about 4,000 votes ahead of Democrat Kris Mayes, will win the attorney general race.
They were less confident about Blake Masters defeating Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) defeating former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes for Secretary of State.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum stated on Newsmax Wednesday afternoon that Masters would need to receive at least 60 percent of the remaining votes left to be counted to win. He added that Lake needs over 50 percent of the remaining votes.
According to Maricopa County Elections Department, there are over 400,000 votes that haven’t been counted yet, a process county officials said Tuesday night could take until Friday.
Two other statewide Republican candidates are currently leading in their respective races and are expected to win: State Treasurer Kimberly Yee and former Superintendent of Schools Tom Horne, who is running for his old seat again – over 15,000 votes ahead of incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.
In congressional races, Trump-endorsed Eli Crane was significantly ahead of Democrat Tom O’Halleran in CD-2, Juan Ciscomani was significantly ahead of Democrat Kirsten Engel in CD-6, and incumbent Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ-06) is expected to win after the remaining ballots are counted.
Republican Rachel Mitchell led Democrat Julie Gunnigle by four points. In the state Senate, Trump-endorsed candidates Anthony Kern and David Farnsworth are expected to win, significantly ahead of their Democratic opponents.
State Representative Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) said she was disgusted with the mainstream media coverage of the election so far – specifically that they failed to accurately discuss with listeners, viewers, and readers how the results would change as more ballots came in.
“Arizona’s legislature is heading towards another GOP majority,” she told The Sun Times. “On election night, it was laughable how the local paper released quixotic headlines to try to get their readership to click open articles that would not even tell readers the truth. And that is: Democrats tend to vote by mail and send back their mail-in ballots after they receive them. Registered Republican voters have had a tendency in recent years to hold onto their mail-in ballots and drop them off on Election Day. I have encouraged registered voters to remove their names from the active early voting list and become a vote in person (VIP) voter. Because many voters dropped off their early mail-in ballots, we will not know the results of several important races until later this week if we are lucky. As an outgoing state legislator, I have shared potential legislative ideas with newly elected legislators to help Arizona become a state like Florida that is confident in their elections and calls the winner on Election Day.”
The Sun Times asked Khalaf why the GOP didn’t win as big as polls showed. He responded, “Not sure I have landed yet on ‘what happened.’ I want more time to ponder that but it is clear that candidates matter. Kari Lake did very well relative to other Republican gubernatorial candidates in swing states because of her persona and vision she was casting in Arizona. She will end up – I believe when everything is counted – having coattails for down-ballot candidates. I believe we net seats in the state Senate and state House.”
Tyler Bower, COO of Turning Point USA and a former chair of Maricopa County Republicans, tweeted his analysis on Wednesday afternoon, saying, “The AZ Grassroots took an autopsy of 2018 & took steps to QUICKLY take back the Republican Party. We are winning much bigger than 2018 with better, more conservative candidates because of the hard work of State & County leaders who stepped up & rejected the premise of a weak GOP.”
He continued his optimism in another tweet, saying, “We are in the best position we’ve ever been in as a Party.”
FreedomWorks’ grassroots director Merissa Hamilton agreed, telling The Sun Times, “While the incompetence displayed by Maricopa County on election day certainly disenfranchised a significant number of voters, one thing is clear, without the massive grassroots mobilization in Arizona since 2019, conservatives would have lost the state this election cycle. This is especially true when you compare the performance of Arizona to other states around the country with a similar electorate makeup like Michigan.”
Maricopa County election officials came under fire after 20 percent of polling locations reported problems with tabulators, forcing people to stand in line for up to two hours.
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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Arizona Republican Political Candidates” by Kari Lake.