By C. Douglas Golden at .westernjournal.com
Kari Lake may not be the next governor of Arizona, but that doesn’t mean her political career is over. Far from it, actually, if a new poll is any indication.
Even as Lake pursues her court battle over the November governor’s election, an early poll exploring what might happen in the contentious 2024 Arizona senatorial race found that Lake is in first place in what will likely be a three-way race.
According to the survey by Blueprint Polling, released on Wednesday, Lake is leading by 4 points over Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and by 22 points over incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, now an independent.
While Arizona trends conservative generally, the GOP has lost three straight Senate contests. Martha McSally was beaten by Sinema in 2018 and Sen. Mark Kelly in a 2020 special election for the seat of the late Sen. John McCain. Kelly won a full term in November by beating political novice Blake Masters.
Both Kelly and Sinema charted a path to victory by billing themselves as independent moderates, It also didn’t help that neither McSally nor Masters, while both credible and capable conservatives, seemed to catch on with voters.
However, it’s the whole “independent moderate” thing that’s made the 2024 Arizona race one of the most interesting in the nation. While Kelly’s party independence is mostly an invention of his handlers, Sinema seems to have taken her own rhetoric seriously — and Democrats are thoroughly unhappy about that.