Katie Hobbs projected winner in Arizona governor’s race

Democrat Katie Hobbs is projected to win the race for governor in Arizona, defeating high-profile Republican Kari Lake after a contentious and down-to-the-wire election.

NBC News and CNN both projected the race for Hobbs on Monday night.

The victory is the latest major win for Democrats in what has turned out to be a surprisingly good midterm election for the party. While the race was always seen as competitive, Lake came out slightly ahead of Hobbs in most recent polling. The Republican also got heavy media coverage in the final weeks of the election, while Hobbs was scrutinized for refusing to debate her rival.

It also represents an important victory for Republicans opposed to former President Trump. Several of them crossed the aisle to oppose Lake, a vocal ally of Trump.

Lake frequently echoed the former president’s claims of election fraud throughout her campaign, securing Trump’s endorsement while also driving away the more traditional wing of the GOP.

As the race between Hobbs and Lake shaped up this fall, the Democratic candidate refused to participate in the “spectacle” of debating the Trump acolyte, who she referred to as a conspiracy theorist.

It turns out that Lake’s emphasis on showering Donald Trump — who two years ago became the first Republican presidential nominee to lose Arizona since Bob Dole in 1996 — with praise and heaping scorn upon John McCain, the war hero who won six statewide elections in the Grand Canyon State, might have been ill-conceived, nay, doltish.

Kari Lake was thought by many, myself included, to have overcome her manifold and manifest character flaws by way of her obvious political talent; no doubt, Lake could give a snappy answer to a reporter and own a room. But in the end, her lack of self-control doomed her. Voters saw through the polished answers to the rotten motivations driving them, and rejected her.

This of course should also put an end to the narrative that it was Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s decision not to invest heavily in Blake Masters’s challenge to incumbent Democratic senator Mark Kelly that doomed Masters. Masters was a significantly less compelling candidate than Lake, and Kelly was a significantly more compelling opponent than Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s governor-elect. Masters and Lake didn’t need any help snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in what should have been a wave year for Republicans.

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