On Monday, The Washington Post reported that the inner circle of Kari Lake, the Phoenix news anchor turned Trump-loving candidate for Arizona governor, are preparing for the race to be called against her as the incoming ballots do not appear to be enough to give her a lead over her candidate, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
Lake, who has spent the campaign pushing conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, calling for her opponent to be arrested, and attending rallies with QAnon cultists and Nazi sympathizers, is now facing the prospect of accepting an election loss — something that just weeks ago, she refused to commit to doing on CNN.
"With about 160,000 votes left to be counted, Lake trailed Hobbs on Monday by 26,000 votes. Recent tallies have not been as favorable to the Republican as Lake would need to close the gap. She may even be slipping out of the range that would trigger a recount, which occurs when no more than 0.5 percent of the vote separates the candidates," reported Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Isaac Stanley-Becker. "Some campaign aides and Republican operatives, looking at internal data, have grown increasingly doubtful over the last three days that Lake has a path to victory. To remain viable, they said, she may need to claim as much as 65 percent of the next batch of votes in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and more than half of the state’s voters, while also over-performing in Pima County, home to Tucson."
Former President Donald Trump has already weighed in on the results, calling them "very sad" and fuming that Arizona's elections are an "unreliable joke." Lake, however, has kept silent so far, as she confers with allies.
"People around Lake have told her it would not be in her best interest to claim the election was stolen," said the report. "They have also warned of possible harm to Arizona, and the country more broadly, if the state became home to a resurgent 'Stop the Steal' movement. Others have cautioned against disrupting the ongoing count and decided that there is little the campaign can meaningfully do to change the outcome." According to the report, Trump allies like former ambassador Ric Grenell and attorney Christina Bobb, have been meeting with Lake.
One person privy to the discussions told the Post, "Nobody is advocating to go storm the castle," even if there is anger and resentment among her allies about how the election turned out. One other adviser said, “Everybody expects us to be screaming, and we’re doing the opposite,” and added Lake may go on Fox News to discuss the situation.
While many election deniers won their races in the 2022 elections, not all of them have, and they are responding to their losses in mixed ways. Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, for example, has conceded his race against Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro; but Mark Finchem, the Arizona GOP Secretary of State candidate, has not conceded to Democrat Adrian Fontes, telling his supporters "this fight is not over" and "I need your help today to fight back against the Fake News Machine that is spewing Leftist Propaganda!"