Katie Hobbs defeats Democrat Kari Lake, a MAGA favorite, in Arizona’s crucial governor’s race.

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In the race for governor of Arizona, Katie Hobbs defeated Kari Lake.

Despite the fact that the contest was so close that the result was in doubt for more than a week, Hobbs’ victory is important for Democrats in a vital presidential state and serves as a rebuke to a well-known election skeptic.

“I am happy to have been chosen to serve as the next Governor of Arizona,” Hobbs said in a statement late on Monday. ” I want to thank the people for entrusting me with such a weighty duty. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, and I’ll do everything in my power to make you proud.

On election day, a record number of early ballots were sent, according to Maricopa County officials, forcing a longer processing period that includes signature verification. Maricopa County, which has the most population in the state, reported on Sunday that it believed the vote count was 94% complete after receiving an astounding 290,000 of those early votes on Election Day.

Lake, a MAGA firebrand and former local newscaster, lost despite polling in the final weeks of the campaign suggesting she was gaining distance on Hobbs, who as secretary of state in 2020 vocally defended the state’s voting system and the accuracy of the count. Hobbs had made erroneous assertions that the Arizona election had been tampered with.

Arizonans have the intelligence to spot BS when they see it. Just 90 minutes after Hobbs was announced the winner by NBC News, Lake tweeted.

Throughout the campaign, Hobbs maintained a low-key manner in sharp contrast to Lake, who seemed to be everywhere. Voters appeared to be concerned about Lake’s views on the 2020 election, abortion rights, and how closely she sided with the former president, who saw independent voters in the state defect to the Republican Party during his presidency, allowing Joe Biden to flip the formerly ruby-red state. Despite Lake’s television charisma helping her in the race.

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Arizona Democrats anticipated that Lake’s refusal to budge on her positions—including threatening to enact additional abortion restrictions and proclaiming a border invasion—would aid Hobbs in winning over independent voters. Arizona was split between Republican, Democratic, and independent voters.

Hobbs and her allies made abortion rights the center of their campaign, putting Republican-backed restrictions at the forefront of their discourse. They also sought to contrast their immigration and inflationary policies with those of Lake, a political outsider.

In an exit poll conducted by NBC News, 58% of Arizona voters said they were angry or disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and 80% of those voters backed Hobbs. This validated Hobbs’ interpretation of the situation.

According to exit surveys conducted by NBC News, Hobbs received the majority of votes from independents and 59% from self-described moderates, who made up the majority of the electorate. Almost 12% of the entire electorate, or more than 70% of those under the age of 29, supported Hobbs.

When Lake said last month, “I have some of these know-nothing advisers who say, “You know, you really ought to back away from President Trump right now,” it was clear that she still completely supported the former president. I instruct them to put down Hunter [Biden’s] crack pipe right now.

During a discussion a few days prior at Arizona State University, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., urged Arizonans not to vote for Lake because she would support Hobbs if she were in Arizona and would not accept the results of the election if she lost.

Cheney’s PAC spent more than $500,000 on ads in Arizona that targeted Lake and fellow election skeptic Mark Finchem, who ran for secretary of state.

When Cheney’s advertising was released, Lake thanked her in a statement, claiming that it had “exactly the opposite impact” and increased voter turnout.

You’re welcome, @KariLake, Cheney tweeted on Monday night after the Hobbs election results were announced.

In the primary, outgoing Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who infuriated President Trump by certifying Biden’s victory for 2020, lambasted Lake and supported her competitor Republican, Karrin Taylor Robson. Ducey and Lake then made amends, and the Republican Governors Association, which Ducey is the head of, spent millions of dollars backing Lake after she won.