Arizona GOP Infighting Continues, Threatens Election Prospects

For the last two years, Arizonans have been paying close attention to Kari Lake, a former local TV news anchor and current Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Refusing to accept defeat, she referred to the state’s most costly governor race as “election fraud.” Now, she’s vying for a seat in the United States Senate, only two years later. She began her latest campaign event speech in Lake Havasu, Arizona, by addressing the Republican Party’s struggle for its identity, drawing attention to Donald J. Trump as both an “outsider” and a successful businessman.

In the ongoing movement of the contemporary Republican Party toward the new right, Lake is among the most vocal advocates for the elimination of “RINOs” from the movement. In recent years, the Arizona Republican Party has spiraled into internal chaos, with long-standing Republicans, such as the late Senator John McCain, falling behind candidates affiliated with the MAGA movement, such as Lake. With defeats in the U.S. Senate, the governorship, and the president piling up, this could be damaging the party’s prospects with the general voter.

Among the four “toss-up” contests identified by the Cook Report, the one in which Lake is running for U.S. Senate might determine the party’s control of the Senate. She must first win over the trust of the people of Arizona. Republicans in Arizona have been at odds for a long time, and the party’s traditional leadership is slowly crumbling. More than three million people cast ballots in the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, which narrowly went to Biden by around 10,000 votes. Former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers declined to reverse the election’s outcome despite pressure from Trump and Arizona Representative Andy Biggs.

Two conservative groups in Arizona, CAP, and TPUSA, are working together to further the Republican Party’s conservative agenda in the Grand Canyon State. Even among her fellow MAGA acolytes, Lake’s short stint in the spotlight has caused chaos inside the GOP.