JIM SHARPE

Former TV anchor Lake’s campaign strategy could be anchor that drags her to bottom of election lake

Nov 16, 2023, 2:00 PM

There are lots of reasons that Arizona’s 2024 U.S. Senate election will be the one to watch: It could be the country’s most expensive Senate race ever. It could be the most unusual Senate race in 2024 and possibly weirdest in this entire century, which is saying a lot because a guy in a hoodie just got elected to the Senate a year ago.

Let’s take a look at the latest poll from Noble Predictive Insights to see how the candidates stack up against each other. Or, should I say, “stack up against the other two” — because that’s what’ll make 2024 the wackiest: a three-way senate race. After the primary in August, this race likely will feature Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego, former TV anchor Republican Kari Lake and — if she ever announces a run for reelection — independent (sitting) Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Even though it’s only by six points, Gallego has the lead in this poll at 39%, Lake has 33% and Sinema sits at 29%.

But here’s the most interesting part of this poll (and it could be the key to who wins this race): 30% of Republicans say they’d vote for someone other than Republican Kari Lake — and most of those non-Lake Republicans say they’d vote for Sinema. 

Some of the so-called conventional political wisdom says Sinema jumping in benefits Lake — but this Noble poll shows the opposite – 23% of Republicans would vote for Sinema. 

People LAKE seemingly should be able to lure back from Sinema… because they’re Republicans like Lake! Well… they, like Lake, are Republican but they aren’t Republicans like Lake — they’re moderate Republicans. 

So, in order for Lake to not lose her second election in a row, she needs to bring moderate Republicans into her fold. Something she decidedly didn’t do in 2022 when she lost the governor’s race by yelling at McCain Republicans “to get the hell out” of a campaign rally of hers.

Simply being a three-way race could make next year’s Senate election in Arizona the weirdest of the last few years, but a race that featured a candidate telling people in her own party to not vote for her probably comes in a close second. And it might be why Lake comes in second again.

By the way, second place in an election still gets you nothing in a three-way race. 

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Former TV anchor Lake’s campaign strategy could be anchor that drags her to bottom of election lake