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Primaries in key swing states test Trump’s influence, stamina of false 2020 claims

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Republican primaries up and down the vote in Arizona on Tuesday tested former President Donald Trump’s influence on the future of the GOP and the stamina of his stolen election lie.

According to NBC News, most of the presidential swing state games that gave President Joe Biden his smallest margin of victory in 2020 remained undecided as of early Wednesday morning. Voters in Michigan, Missouri, Washington and Kansas, meanwhile, arranged major races across the state, as well as general election matchups crucial to Congressional scrutiny.

Leading Candidates in Arizona GOP Competitions for Senate, Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General Nearly Universal echoed Trump’s election plots and earned his endorsement. In the primary for governor, Kari Lake, a longtime local news anchor backed by Trump and a number of MAGA influencers, called Biden “illegitimate,” the Republican administration taunted Doug Ducey as “doing nothing Ducey” and suggested she wouldn’t accept the results. her election allowed her adversary to triumph.

Her opponent Karrin Taylor Robson, a real estate developer who worked in the Reagan White House and is backed by Ducey, former Vice President Mike Pence and other GOP officials, has called the 2020 election “unfair” but did not say it was stolen. was and has refused to commit to certify the next presidential election. (Ducey, whose term is limited to running again, earned Trump’s ire when he confirmed Biden’s win.)

At 1:16 AM ET. Taylor Robson had a nearly 8-point lead over Lake, counting 63 percent of the expected votes, though that lead was expected to narrow as more ballots were counted on Election Day.

There is no evidence that the 2020 vote in Arizona, or any other state, did not reflect the will of voters. In Arizona, ballot reviews, including a partisan venture blessed by the GOP-led state senate, only confirmed Biden’s win. Earlier this year, the Republican Attorney General of Arizona released a report finding that there was no massive fraud in Maricopa County, where Trump and allies concentrated their efforts and accusations.

On Monday, GOP Attorney General Mark Brnovich said his office had investigated claims that 282 voters had voted dead in Maricopa County and found that only one of those voters was actually dead at the time of the 2020 election. Those allegations stemmed from the conspiracy-laden, partisan review of Maricopa County’s ballots led by now-closed Cyber ​​Ninjas company.

“Our agents investigated all the individuals who reported Cyber ​​Ninjas as dead, and many were very surprised to learn that they were reportedly dead,” said Brnovich, who is in the Senate primaries. wrote in a letter to explain Senate President Karen Fann, who signed the unorthodox Cyber ​​Ninja review.

Democratic candidate for governor of Arizona, Katie Hobbs, speaks to media before delivering her primary election vote in Scottsdale on July 21.Ross D. Franklin / AP File

On the Democratic side, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs won her party’s primary for governor, NBC News predicted. As the state’s top election official, she was the target of stolen election conspiracy theories and was harassed and threatened for her work and defense of the state system in 2020.

Recent polls suggested an extremely tight race between the Lake and Taylor Robson, well within the margin of error. Surveys found More leading among younger Republicans, while Taylor Robson fared better among older voters.

Both candidates focused intensively on the influx of migrants crossing the southern border.

“Ducey resigned himself to be a doormat for the cartels,” Lake said at a meeting in Tucson last month. “I’m tired of bossing a doormat in Arizona.”

In an interview with NBC News after a campaign event in Queen Creek in July, Taylor Robson predicted she would win because “Arizona is looking ahead” and Lake is “really focused in the rearview mirror and not focused on the windshield”.

Taylor Robson compared Lake to Evan Mecham, a former Republican governor of Arizona who faced impeachment, a recall election, and a felony charge simultaneously in the late 1980s.

Mecham’s tenure “led to … years and years of trouble for the state of Arizona, our reputation and everything else,” she said. “And Kari Lake will be Evan Mecham on steroids. I believe she will be a disaster for this state.”

The Lake Taylor Robson clash wasn’t the only one in the state to grab national attention. In the state GOP Senate primaries, Trump’s preferred candidate Blake Masters, a protege of tech billionaire and Republican mega-donor Peter Thiel, looked likely to prevail over a field that includes businessman Jim Lamon and Brnovich, though the race is too early. was to call from Wednesday morning.

The winner will face Democratic Senator Mark Kelly this fall.

Heading into Election Day in the battle for Secretary of State, State Representative Mark Finchem, a close ally of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and an early adopter of election lies, seemed well positioned to take a win. Ducey backs his main rival, businessman Beau Lane, who hasn’t said the last election was stolen.

Then there’s the attorney general’s race, where Abe Hamadeh, a former Maricopa County prosecutor with Trump’s backing, takes on a large field of opponents. Hamadeh has reinforced Trump’s stolen election rhetoric.

Democracy proponents have spent months delving into Arizona’s races as crucial to the future of fair elections. For example, Finchem co-sponsored a bill in the State House that would have given the legislature the ability to reverse the election results.

like more, him too. has suggested he will not accept the results if he loses.

Several high-profile races were scheduled elsewhere on Tuesday. Tudor Dixon, a former conservative commentator and actor, won Michigan’s Republican primary for governor. She took advantage of chaos-inducing stumbling blocks by her rivals while earning the support of powerful backers like the family of former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, one of the most powerful in Michigan’s GOP politics — and finally Trump’s endorsement last week. .

Now poised to face Democratic administration Gretchen Whitmer this fall, Dixon fielded Kevin Rinke, a self-financed former car dealer whose name is known to voters in the Detroit area; Garrett Soldano, a chiropractor who gained a foothold on the right by protesting Whitmer’s Covid policies; and Ryan Kelley, a real estate agent who has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he was part of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters with the aim of stopping the certification of the 2020 election.

In Missouri, Attorney General Eric Schmitt won a bittersweet Senate primaries that also saw disgraced former chief executive Eric Greitens and representatives Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, NBC News predicted. On Monday, Trump said in a statement that he endorsed “ERIC” and chose not to choose between Schmitt and Greitens. (There was also a third Eric in the race — the little-known Eric McElroy.)

Meanwhile, a trio of House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year faced primary voters—Members Peter Meijer of Michigan, and Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, both of Washington. Meijer lost his bid, NBC News predicted early Wednesday morning. At the same time, it was still undecided whether Beutler or Newhouse would advance the general election under Washington state’s top two primary system.

Democrats had little contested primary on Tuesday. In Michigan, NBC News predicted that Rep. Haley Stevens defeated Rep. Andy Levin in a seated vs. sitting primary in the suburbs of Detroit, the result of a reclassification process that drew them to the same borders. And in Missouri, NBC News predicted that Anheuser-Busch’s heir Trudy Busch Valentine defeated self-proclaimed “populist” Lucas Kunce and others for the state’s nomination to the Democratic Senate.

In Kansas, voters chose not to remove the language protecting abortion rights from the state’s constitution as part of a ballot referendum that would have transferred power to the GOP-controlled legislature to decide the issue.

About 60 percent of voters cast “no” ballots, while about 40 percent supported “yes,” according to voting figures as of 12:47 a.m. ET Wednesday morning. In some Kansas counties that Trump won by an overwhelming majority, a significant majority of voters chose not to remove the language protecting abortion rights from the state’s constitution.

The vote could have significant ramifications ahead of this fall’s election, as it marked the first time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that U.S. voters cast their votes on the issue of abortion rights.

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