Kari Lake says she didn’t feel the need to debate Mark Lamb ahead of Republican US Senate primary

Jul 9, 2024, 1:14 PM

PHOENIX — Kari Lake said she didn’t participate in the Republican U.S. Senate primary debate with Mark Lamb last month because polling numbers showed her comfortably ahead.

Lake told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday that she was focused on a likely matchup with Democrat Ruben Gallego in the general election.

The most recent poll from Noble Predictive Insights (NPI), conducted May 7-14, had Lake ahead of Lamb 46%-21%.

“I don’t think I need to continue to debate somebody in the Republican primary,” Lake said.

Who participated in Republican Arizona US Senate primary debate?

Lamb was the sole candidate to participate in the June 26 Clean Elections debate, which gave him 30 uninterrupted minutes in an in-person setting to lay out his platform.

Lake argued that she debated Lamb on May 23, but the format differed from that of Clean Elections, which put on dozens of debates with Arizona candidates leading up to the July 30 primary.

In that 90-minute event, Lake and Lamb spoke with and virtually took questions from members of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

Lamb told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Outspoken with Bruce and Gaydos in June, after Lake said she would not debate against him that month, that her decision was “disrespectful to the people.”

“I think one debate is fine. People know me,” Lake said. “They know I’m not afraid of debating, I’m not afraid of talking to people.”

Is Kari Lake ahead of Ruben Gallego in polling?

National website RealClearPolitics, which tracks polls and publishes updated averages, had Gallego up 45.4%-40.1% over Lake as of Tuesday.

NPI’s latest general election poll, conducted May 7-14, showed Gallego with a 10 percentage point lead — 46%-36%.

Lake said she’s using her time ahead of the Nov. 5 general election — assuming she is indeed the Republican candidates — to connect with Arizona voters.

The first foray into politics for Lake, a former local television anchor, was in 2022 when she lost the gubernatorial race to Katie Hobbs.

“We have four months to save our country and a big part of campaigning is time management … my time is better spent talking to voters, making sure they know where I stand on the issues,” Lake said.

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Kari Lake says she didn’t feel the need to debate Mark Lamb ahead of Republican US Senate primary