After weeks of dominating early voter polls, former local news anchor Kari Lake is trailing her opponent Karrin Taylor Robson by nearly 10 points in Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night.
As of midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday morning, business executive Robson holds roughly 49 percent of the vote compared to Lake, hovering around 40 percent.
That’s with nearly 60 percent of the vote counted, according to the New York Times.
Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial primary is among the most closely watched races on Tuesday – not because of the candidates running, but rather their high-profile backers.
The competition between Lake and Robeson stood out as a proxy battle between Trump and his former vice president, Mike Pence.
Pence threw his support behind Robson in mid-July, weeks after Trump already made his affinity for Lake well known.
Trump campaigned for Lake twice in Arizona. While on the campaign trail the ex-journalist eagerly promoted the former president’s election fraud conspiracy theories.
Perhaps in anticipation of Tuesday’s close race, Lake has also sought to cast doubt on her own election by contending there were irregularities and other issues even before voters took to the polls.
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Robson – who, unlike Lake, has vowed to honor the election results – was also endorsed by Arizona’s term-limited Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who has dismissed Lake for her fringe beliefs in the past.
Ducey also made himself one of Trump’s political enemies when he refused to go along with the ex-president’s claims that Joe Biden narrowly won the state in 2020 due to widespread voter fraud.
The eventual winner will go on to face Arizona’s Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the November general election.
Meanwhile Trump is also looking for a win in the state’s Senate GOP primary with his chosen candidate, Blake Masters, leading the pack as of two hours after polls closing.
If he wins Masters will face incumbent Democratic senator and retired astronaut Mark Kelly in the November midterm elections.
For weeks he’s held a double-digit lead in the polls over his next-closest primary opponent, businessman Jim Lamon.
As of midnight on the East Coast, Masters is ahead of Lamon by roughly five points.
Arizona Republicans head to the polls on August 2 to choose between Trump-backed former local news anchor Kari Lake (left) and a former member of the Arizona Board of Regents who also served in the Reagan administration, Karrin Taylor Robson (right)
Mike Pence and Donald Trump are going head-to-head in this year’s midterm races for a second time after Pence-backed Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia bested Trump’s candidate, David Perdue
After months of early polls showing Lake with a comfortable lead, Robson quickly caught up thanks to her high-profile backers.
An Emerson survey taken at the end of July shows Robson with 49 percent of the vote compared to Lake’s 48 percent, a virtual dead heat.
Meanwhile Trump also fared well in the Michigan GOP gubernatorial primary on Tuesday.
Former conservative commentator Tudor Dixon handily won the crowded race after being endorsed by the ex-president last week.
She will now fight to unseat Michigan’s Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has been speculated as a potential 2024 hopeful, on Election Day in November.
Robson told Fox News in an interview late last month, ‘I’m the better choice because I don’t need on the job training. I’ll tell the voters that if you want to see what that looks like, look at Kamala Harris. It’s not pretty.’
‘I will bring to the table 30 years of experience on substantive issues that matter to Arizona. I will also bring 30 years of experience as an executive, as a small business owner, as a lawyer, as somebody who has signed both sides of a paycheck, as somebody who has a reputation for pulling people together, bringing people together to solve complex problems.’