The Kari Lake Electoral Anchor: How She Is Arizona Republicans’ Biggest Problem

By Alexander Lomax

Groundhog’s Day was last month, but you almost wouldn’t know that’s the case in Arizona. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Kari Lake claimed election fraud and judges told her that she has almost no case whatsoever. And yet she keeps trying, bless her heart.

And the biggest winners? Arizona Democrats. Just like they made the correct calculation that she would give them a much better chance at taking back the Governor’s seat than Karrin-Taylor Robson, her continued quixotic bid to overturn the will of the people is the equivalent of dumping salt on the seeds that her party is planting.

After all, how can any halfway objective voter look at what has transpired in Arizona’s judicial system and not look down on Lake’s attempts with derision? A litany of Republican-appointed judges continue to state that her charges have no merit. This is in addition to the absolute embarrassment that was the Cyber Ninja’s Saga. It has been the Keystone Cops of electoral politics, and it shows little sign of stopping.

The list of entities that need to be conspiring against her is now past a laundry list, past the list of failed Cleveland Browns quarterbacks (apologies to those who aren’t NFL fans, but hopefully that analogy lands with those of you who are). There is no shortage of Arizonan power players who ideologically align with Lake more than Hobbs, who would benefit more from a Lake administration, yet who aren’t willing to tank their own career to hold up an obvious lie. And somehow in the mind of Lake and her fan base, they are all in on this grandest of grand conspiracies.

To continue to believe this, you must be very ignorant of civics as well as the nature of politics in this state, something Lake is depending on and fundraising with. But for independents and relatively moderate Republicans, people who are not strict party voters and stay properly informed, this is a clown show. While the Hobbs administration’s start has been rocky, at least it’s not a complete tire fire like the Lake Show.

The options are currently: 1) imperfect but sane governance, and 2) burning everything to the ground, and making charges of anyone who disagrees with your naked grab for power as the enemy. While the term “fascism” has been far overused, specifically by extremists who call themselves “antifascist” yet often show strong brown-shirt qualities, it will be hard for the political mushy middle to see the benefits of supporting someone who is willing to burn everything to the ground in the pursuit of power. This has not worked out well throughout history.

While it may benefit her and desire to be Trump’s VP nominee in 2024, and the existence of a third party candidate may very well benefit her and return Trump to the White House (thus validating her route), the electoral pathway tightens with every hyperbolic statement, every stated intention to destroy imperfect yet fully functional institutions. Even if it does work out, we all lose.

One thing is for certain though: Kari Lake is dead-set on becoming a darling of the Trump segment of the Republican party on a national stage, and in the process is similarly dead-set on alienating Democrats, independents, and moderate Republicans both in the state and nationally. We can only hope that the rest of the country doesn’t see her and think that this is what our state is about.