Kari Lake lost her bid to become Arizona’s governor to Democrat Katie Hobbs, reiterating the national rebuke Republicans received from voters in last Tuesday’s midterms. Despite a poor showing by conservatives in Arizona, Lake, an avowed election denier, is insinuating foul play is responsible for her loss, and MAGA pundits are following suit.
“Arizonans know BS when they see it.” Lake tweeted shortly after major news outlets called the race against her.
Former President Donald Trump, a particularly huge fan of Lake’s campaign, took to Truth Social early Tuesday morning to insinuate that the election had been wrongfully decided. “Wow,” he wrote, “They just took the election away from Kari Lake. It’s really bad out there!”
When announcing Fox News’ decision to call the Arizona governor’s race in favor of Hobbs, a less-than-pleased Sean Hannity quipped that Hobbs should have “recused herself” from her position as secretary of state. Fox & Friends was none too pleased the following morning, scoffing at the result while agreeing with Lake’s tweet that Arizonans “know BS when they see it.”
Lake made similar statements on Fox News shortly before the race was called, wondering how it would be possible for Hobbs to “certify her own election” despite the electoral process being “botched.”
The Washington Post reported that former Trump adviser and Big Lie bullhorn Steve Bannon was “clear eyed” about Lake’s diminishing prospects in his communications with the campaign, but insisted publicly to viewers of his broadcast that Election Day issues with ballot scanning in a subset of Maricopa county voting centers were indicative of “active disenfranchisement of voters in Arizona,” despite various in-person voting alternatives being available. Bannon declared it necessary to “stop the certification.”
Looking beyond the certification to the impending swearing in of a new governor, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk asked guests on his show what the process for recalling Governor- elect Hobbs would be in Arizona.
Several commentators claimed that it made “no mathematical sense” for Lake to have lost when incumbent GOP state Treasurer Kimberly Yee handidly won her reelection campaign. Lee emerged as an outlier among the conservative performance in Arizona, where candidates floundered in major races. Most notably, U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters lost his bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly, and Trump-loving secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem was also summarily defeated.
Early Tuesday morning, the words “DO NOT CONCEDE” trended on Twitter. The tag was populated with advice from conservative pundits to Lake imploring her to hold out on accepting the results of the election. As awareness of the tag spread, it was taken over by users pointing out that election denialism and a “heads I win, tails you lose” approach to voting outcomes was likely a factor in the poor outcomes for Arizona Republicans.