'Taken over by nutjobs': MSNBC's John Heilemann explains how Trump gave Democrats 'strong hand to play' in Arizona
MSNBC analyst John Heilemann -- screenshot

All of the Republican candidates backed by Donald Trump are ahead in their Arizona primary races, and MSNBC's John Heilemann said that was a grim portent for the future of the state's politics.

Election deniers Kari Lake and Mark Finchem are leading their races for governor and secretary of state, while right-wing Senate candidate Blake Masters holds a commanding lead in his primary election, while former legislator Anthony Kern, who was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and state Sen. Wendy Rogers also notched apparent wins, and former state Sen. David Farnsworth soundly defeated House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified against Trump before the House select committee.

"You said it was a good night for Donald Trump in Arizona, also a good night for Arizona Democrats in Arizona," Heilemann told "Morning Joe." "You know, as we know, when we think about the electoral map, the two most important new swing states are Georgia and Arizona, states that are changing dramatically in terms of their demographic composition, in terms of both ethnic composition, but the suburban vote in those places is why Joe Biden was able to win those states."

"What we've seen is the Arizona Republican Party has been taken over by the nutjobs," Heilemann added. "That is great for Donald Trump but it's not great for Republicans, who are going to have to compete statewide, particularly in a state like Arizona, which is a purple-trending blue state, not a red state. So I would say, look, we can't predict the future, but I think a lot of Democrats in Arizona are going to be happy about these outcomes, some of these outcomes they were hoping for, in a lot of cases, because these candidates that are going to be easier to beat."

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"Mainstream Republicans, do not despair," he concluded. "Donald Trump will take a victory lap in a lot of the races, then, if we're right about the way this could very well play out, this could turn out to be a pyrrhic victory for Donald Trump, because a lot of these candidates are really weak candidates and Democrats have a strong hand to play in the fall."

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