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Kari Lake’s Loss Destroys ‘Stop the Steal’

Whatever you may believe about the 2020 election, one thing is for sure; voters care about their own s-it. That means crime, inflation, school & reproductive choice, a secure border and apparently, doesn't include conspiracy theories.

To all those who think the Dems cheat better than the Repubs, either have proof that can be persuasively presented in a court of law, or shut the f-ck up.

Then again, Richard Nixon won his second term by the greatest margin in US history (after FDR) and was squeaky clean...err, until he wasn't. In case you think one party is more virtuous than the other ...haha.

Kari Lake’s Loss Destroys ‘Stop the Steal’

Arizona candidates who took the Trump line on 2020 won fewer votes than a GOP state Treasurer.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Nov. 15, 2022 6:27 pm ET

If anyone needs more evidence that “Stop the Steal” was a loser for the GOP this year, the party’s Arizona wipeout is definitive. On Monday Kari Lake joined the list of Republicans in the Grand Canyon State who ran on the stolen 2020 election and lost.

Ms. Lake, a former TV news anchor, had all the sparkling charisma that Donald Trump’s other favorite candidates lacked. She loved telling off journalists. She called 2020 “a corrupt, stolen election,” and she repeated that line to the bitter end. As Mr. Trump bragged in a phone call captured on tape: “If they say, ‘How is your family?’ she says, ‘The election was rigged and stolen.’”

But she lost, 49.6% to 50.4%, according to the latest data. The Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Katie Hobbs, ran an uninspiring campaign and went all in for the teachers union. She still won. As a reminder of how winnable Arizona should be for Republicans, Gov. Doug Ducey was re-elected in 2018 by 14 points and is finishing a highly successful second term that includes statewide school choice and a 2.5% flat tax.

Abraham Hamadeh, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Attorney General, promised a “day of reckoning” for “those who worked to rob President Trump in the rigged 2020 election.” That race isn’t called yet and could go to a recount, but Mr. Hamadeh is currently losing, 49.9% to 50.1%.

Mark Finchem, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Secretary of State, essentially made himself a walking referendum on 2020 fraud theories. He lost, 47.6% to 52.4%.

Blake Masters, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Senate, said in an early ad: “I think Trump won.” After he captured the GOP nomination, he tried to pivot by decrying the influence of Big Tech, while saying he saw no evidence of fraudulent vote totals. That earned him a debasing rebuke from Mr. Trump. Mr. Masters lost, 46.5% to 51.4%.

One person who deserves special mention for orchestrating these defeats is Kelli Ward, Arizona’s Republican state chair. She has now presided over the loss of two Senate seats and nearly all of the top statewide jobs.

Notably, however, the GOP wipeout didn’t go all the way down the ballot: Republican state Treasurer Kimberly Yee sailed to re-election, 55.6% to 44.4%. Curious, yes. Mr. Trump might retort that this race was relatively low profile, and the Treasurer’s office has been Republican for decades. On the other hand, doesn’t that make it a proxy for generic GOP support?

Look at the raw totals. Ms. Yee won roughly 115,000 more votes than Ms. Lake. The GOP also won six of nine Arizona House districts, and Republicans in those nine races received 50,000 more votes than Ms. Lake. Both figures are well above her losing margin. What explains the gap? According to exit polls, Ms. Lake lost independents by seven points and moderates by 20. At the same time, she lost 9% of self-identified Republicans.

Many Republican voters simply don’t like being fed Trump baloney about the 2020 election. Or if baloney is too mild a word, there’s always “horse—,” which is what Arizona’s sitting Attorney General, Republican Mark Brnovich, recently called the mass fraud claims. Among other investigations, his office tracked down 282 purportedly dead voters, he wrote this summer, many of whom were “very surprised to learn they were allegedly deceased.”

Mr. Brnovich ran for Senate this year but was outflanked by Mr. Masters in the primary. If he had been the nominee, he might have won last week. But he refused to pretend the 2020 election was stolen by some shadowy conspiracy that eluded law enforcement and normal standards of proof. “We as prosecutors deal in facts and evidence, and I’m not like the clowns that throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks,” Mr. Brnovich told “60 Minutes” in October. “It’s like a giant grift in some ways.”

Nearly everywhere in competitive races last week, Mr. Trump’s endorsed candidates went down in pyrotechnics. But the flameout of an awkward eccentric, such as Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania or Don Bolduc in New Hampshire, only says so much. Kari Lake is a telegenic fraud theorist straight out of Mar-a-Lago casting, running in a historically red state, in a year with an unpopular Democratic President and 8% inflation.

If Ms. Lake couldn’t win on “Stop the Steal” in 2022, it’s hard to see how anyone else can pull it off. Maybe at last the 2020 election is over.

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