OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Govenor? Vice President? Senator? Republican Kari Lake has a lot of options on the table.
Lake’s lawsuit challenging her loss in the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election has now made its way to the state Supreme Court. She’s also been asked about reports that former President Donald Trump could be “seriously” considering her to be his 2024 running mate. And now an early poll exploring the 2024 U.S. Senate election in Arizona found that Lake could win the race.
A recent survey by Blueprint Polling found that Lake is leading by 4 points over Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and by 22 points over incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who switched her party registration from Democrat to Independent.
“An early 2023 survey of likely general election voters illustrates that Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s path to
reelection is both complicated and unprecedented. Sinema runs a distant third in a hypothetical three-way race in the general that also includes 2022 GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Democratic
Congressman Ruben Gallego,” the survey found.
“Kari Lake polls at 36% in a three-way Senate race with Gallego and Sinema. The congressman follows closely at 32% while the incumbent polls less than 14%. One in six voters are undecided. Sinema draws support from both Republicans and Democrats—she gets the vote of 15% of Biden 2020 voters and 11% of Trump 2020 voters,” the group found.
The Wall Street Journal published a report detailing that Lake “is now turning her attention to the state’s 2024 Senate contest, setting the stage for a political bounceback while worrying some Republicans who feel she is too extreme to win a general election.”
“Aides say she is considering entering the race for Senate. Her entrance would add further unpredictability to what could be a three-way contest for the seat currently held by Independent Senator. Kyrsten Sinema. Republicans see the seat as a prime pickup opportunity as they try to win back the Senate,” the outlet added.
“The GOP field is completely paralyzed, waiting for her next steps,” said Caroline Wren, a Lake senior adviser. “They, like the media, know that Kari will dominate a primary election and sprint through a general race” to win the seat for the party, Ms. Wren said.
Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by billionaire Charles Koch that opposes Donald Trump for president, has already come out against Lake and wants someone else to run in Arizona for the 2024 Senate seat.
“We’re looking for a candidate who can win a general election and will take Arizona in a new direction offering solutions that reflect our shared vision of limited government, individual freedom, and focus on the future—not the past,” said Stephen Shadegg, Arizona state director for the organization.
The Cook Political Report recently published an analysis detailing how Sinema and Gallego could pull enough support from one another to give Lake an edge in the 2024 Senate race.
Sen. Krysten Sinema’s decision to switch from Democrat to independent may have saved *her* a primary, but it’s given Democrats a huge headache. First, and foremost the DSCC and other Democratic allies will have to decide whether to support the official Democratic nominee (likely Rep. Ruben Gallego) or their Senate colleague who, while identifying as an independent, still caucuses with Senate Democrats.
Then there’s the question of what a three-way contest between Sinema, Gallego, and a GOP nominee would look like. Recent polling in the state showing Gallego leading in a number of potential scenarios is a bit misleading. After all, unlike his potential challengers (Sinema and failed GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake), Gallego hasn’t been hit with millions of dollars of negative advertising.
The five-term congressman represents an overwhelmingly Democratic district and has never received less than 75% of the vote. Moreover, it’s likely that Gallego will be attacked not just by Republicans, but by Sinema as well. A messy GOP primary only adds to the uncertainty of how this thing plays out in the fall. And the Biden campaign can’t afford a “Democrats in disarray” scenario in this must-win state either. Overall, it’s just a big mess.
Earlier this month, Lake shot down a report that Trump is “seriously” considering her to be his 2024 running mate.
“Former President Trump is strongly considering picking a female running mate — and sees Kari Lake as a model for his vice presidential pick, according to people who discussed the topic with him. Trump is already gaming out the general election in November 2024 — and knows he has a massive weakness with the white suburban women he would need to beat President Biden,” Axios reported.
Lake’s team responded by pouring cold water on the idea.
“I am 100% dedicated to serving as Arizona Governor. I will also work to make sure President Trump gets back in the White House ASAP. Anything outside of those two goals is nothing but a distraction,” Lake told the Daily Mail.