Despite the sociopath Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pulling $18 million worth of TV ads from Arizona’s U.S. Senate race, all because he hates Blake Masters and America First, the reality on the ground in the state is a groundswell. What is actually taking place in the state where Republicans outnumber Democrats by 150,000 voters is an historic America First wave, which, to be clear, is far more important than any “red wave.”
Part of that is Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and other statewide candidates are outperforming expectations. Lake is now the clear favorite to win the governor’s race. Not only does one of the most accurate pollsters in the country, the Trafalgar Group, show her with a decisive lead, but even left-wing polling firms are reporting it; the far-left group Data for Progress has her leading Democrat Katie Hobbs by 4 percentage points. Lake has built this solid lead for herself by running on a Trump-endorsed, America First platform, combined with her effectively exposing Hobbs’ weaknesses as the far-left Democrat refuses to debate.
And the other major candidates for statewide office are polling even better than Lake. In late September, Trump-backed candidate in the crucial race for secretary of state, Mark Finchem—whose campaign emphasizes election integrity and cracking down on voter fraud—was ahead of his Democrat opponent by 6 points, according to Trafalgar. In the concurrent race for attorney general, Republican nominee Abraham Hamadeh, another Trump pick, holds a commanding 9-point lead, which is also well above the margin of error.
What does all this mean for the U.S. Senate race? With three other Republican statewide candidates running strongly ahead of their Democratic opponents, Masters is essentially “drafting” off of them: as Lake and Hamadeh have continued to have strong campaigns, the Republican Governors Association and Republican Attorney Generals Association have invested more money into the state. A rising tide lifts all boats, which, of course, lifts Masters.
Look at early voting: Lake and Masters are running almost dead even, despite polls showing Lake running 4-5 percentage points ahead of Masters. Nobody mistakes who Kari Lake is, and it’s highly unlikely there will be much ticket-splitting with Kari Lake/Mark Kelly votes. It seems like Republican voters are coming home. Lake continues her strong campaign, and her voters are coming with her to Masters.
There are other dynamics that many nationally have missed in Arizona. Thanks to the hard work of some, the redistricting process in Arizona was a triumph for Republicans. Because of that, it’s possible the Arizona U.S. House delegation will be 7-2 come January, and the Republicans could pick up three additional seats in the state house and the same in the state senate. Add to all of that a dynamic that is taking place in a lot of so-called battleground states: a surge in newly registered Republican voters. Republicans in Arizona have added 30,000 to their advantage over registered Democrats since 2020.
Arizona is also likely to experience the overall national red wave dynamic. The bottom is dropping out on Democrats coming down the homestretch as the 800-pound gorilla wearing cement boots sits on their collective back: Joe Biden. He is dragging Democrats into the electoral abyss. Tack on the proverbial albatross of inflation around their necks, and you’re telling me they will have a better-than-expected midterm? Spare me!
As reality gut punches Democrats and their corporate propagandists (and wait for their harpy screeches of horror when they realize what 2022 means for 2024), Republicans are surging in the generic ballot, up by as many as 5 percentage points in the most recent polls of likely voters.
But look at some history of generic ballots: in 2014, Republicans outperformed the final generic average by more than 3 points; almost 2 points in 2016; and in 2020, depending on how you look at it, Democrats either underperformed by more than 3 points or Republicans overperformed by 3 points. This all to say, if trends continue, we might see some generic polls at 6-7 points in the next week. Then tack on 2-3 points and that’s reality. If tsunami levels like that become clear on Election Night, it will build momentum from the East Coast results and move westward to Arizona.
If trends continue over the next few weeks, Arizona could be the new Ohio for Republicans; sort of battleground status for another election cycle or two, but then a solid red state that is no longer really competitive.