Major Announcement Changes Everything In Kari Lake’s Senate Race

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

The announcement by Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that she will not run for reelection has increased the intensity of the already competitive Senate contest to unprecedented heights of unpredictability. On Tuesday, Sinema revealed the information on social media.

“In 2017, I warned we were approaching a crossroads. Our democracy was weakened by government dysfunction and the constant pull to the extremes by both political parties,” Sinema said. Her decision comes at a critical juncture, as recent polls indicate a volatile electorate, with candidates Kari Lake and Ruben Gallego neck and neck.

“The only political victories that matter these days are symbolic, attacking your opponents on cable news or social media. Compromise is a dirty word,” she said. “We’ve arrived at that crossroad and we chose anger and division. I believe in my approach, but it’s not what America wants right now.”

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In October of last year, Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, Laura, filed her Senate campaign committee registration with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in advance of her 2022 campaign debut. Since then, Lake has been seen as a serious candidate to win the Republican primary nomination.

Particularly for Lake’s campaign, a radical change in rhetoric and strategy may be in store as the contest for her seat intensifies. According to Rasmussen and the Bull Moose Project, Lake is leading the Republican primary by a substantial 29-point margin, but polling data indicates that the race is close in the general.

When it comes to general election contests, Lake’s performance varies. In some surveys, he leads Ruben Gallego by just 3 to 4 points, but in others, Gallego leads Lake by 3 to 10 points, suggesting that if Sinema withdraws from the race, the Democrats may gain ground.

In the US House of Representatives, Gallego, a former US Marine, represents Arizona’s 3rd congressional district. He was a member and assistant minority leader of the Arizona House of Representatives from 2012 until his departure to seek a congressional position, giving him experience in state politics. He is a Democrat.

Gallego, who was first elected to Congress in 2014, is the representative for a district that includes parts of Glendale and much of downtown, southern, and western Phoenix. He served in the military and was sent to Iraq as a USMCR Corporal for Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the national chair of Eric Swalwell’s 2020 presidential campaign, he also had a big impact on national politics.

Since the party has mostly united behind Lake in the Senate contest, J.D. Vance (R-OH) has joined the ranks of Senate Republicans who are endorsing her. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), the head of the Senate Republicans’ campaign, also supported Lake earlier this month.

It is clear that Lake’s attempts to patch things up and create a bridge with the Republican establishment have paid off, since her campaign is gathering steam and earning the interest of influential GOP strategists and funders. She had the chance to interact directly with senators and powerful funders during the NRSC winter meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, earlier this year. Many of them voiced their enthusiasm for the focus and direction of her campaign.

Even if she and the establishment had a falling out in prior runs, Lake has come a long way in improving her reputation and making amends with people she had criticized. A united Republican front in Arizona, a state that has swung Democratic in recent elections but is still quite competitive, was also seen in her ability to get the NRSC endorsement.

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