OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republican Kari Lake may have come up short in her bid to become the governor of Arizona, but there is good news for her. A new poll found that Lake is still loved by many in the Copper State and could become its next Senator. Even as Lake pursues her court battle over the November governor’s election, an early poll exploring the 2024 U.S. Senate race in Arizona found that Lake is in first place in what will likely be a three-way race.
According to the survey by Blueprint Polling, 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.
Below are some more topline findings from the survey:
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.
23% of Biden voters remain undecided in the race (compared to 13% of Trump voters), suggesting that some Democrats may be waiting to see how the race shakes out before backing a candidate. Still, Sinema’s best hope for a return to the US Senate may be for the Republican party to nominate a candidate so flawed that moderate and conservative voters would abandon that person for the Independent Sinema.
Sinema gets very little support from Hispanic voters, garnering 3% of their vote (Gallego leads Lake 41%-39% with this group), while Sinema gets the support of 17% of white Arizonans. Notably, Gallego does better with women by about 4% than with men and Sinema enjoys a similar positive differential with men.
Late is still pursuing her court battle over the November governor’s election.
Lake filed two appeals related to a lawsuit challenging her loss in the Arizona gubernatorial race in November. Lake also filed a motion to have her lawsuit heard by the Arizona Supreme Court, which was denied.
“Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled against Lake’s challenge after finding the court was not presented with clear and convincing evidence in the widespread misconduct, she alleged influenced the election results,” Fox News reported. “Lake, on Wednesday, filed an appeal with the Appeals Court on Judge Thompson’s ruling. She also filed a motion to send the appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court, asking to skip a step with the Appeals Court. Arizona’s Supreme Court denied the request to transfer the appeal.”
In its decision, the Arizona Supreme Court said, “no good cause appears to transfer the matter to this court.”
Lake provided an update on Wednesday night via Twitter: “My court case will be going before the Appeals Court prior to the Arizona Supreme Court because it’s already been scheduled for review. This decision was done without prejudice & I am confident the case will end up in their hands eventually. We’re moving forward.”
My court case will be going before the Appeals Court prior to the Arizona Supreme Court because it's already been scheduled for review.
This decision was done without prejudice & I am confident the case will end up in their hands eventually.
We're moving forward.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) January 5, 2023
Lake is asking the Arizona Court of Appeals to reconsider all 10 counts of a lawsuit that were tossed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson.
Lake is also asking the appeals court to overturn the decision for her to pay $33,000 in fees to Hobbs.
Judge Peter Thompson denied a request from Hobbs seeking sanctions against Lake.
However, the judge did award Hobbs just over $33,000 to cover costs for retaining expert witnesses during a two-day trial brought on by Lake, who challenged the results of November’s gubernatorial election.
Judge Thompson wrote in his decision: “Every one of Plaintiff’s witnesses — and for that matter, Defendants’ witnesses as well — was asked about any personal knowledge of both intentional misconduct and intentional misconduct directed to impact the 2022 General Election. Every single witness before the Court disclaimed any personal knowledge of such misconduct. The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence.”
Over 200 people submitted statements to the court detailing their frustrating experiences trying to vote on Election Day in Maricopa County. However, Judge Thompson stated that many of those voters were still able to cast their ballots.
Judge Thompson said that Lake’s team did not provide evidence proving voters were turned away or refused ballots on Election Day.