Lake Finally Declared Victor In Republican Gubernatorial Primary

Lake Finally Declared Victor In Republican Gubernatorial Primary

By Terri Jo Neff |

On Wednesday, Kari Lake declared herself victorious in the Republican primary election for governor. On Thursday, the rest of the state followed.

Lake has nearly 19,800 more votes than her main challenger, Karrin Taylor Robson, as of Thursday night. She was one of several candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and former Vice President Mike Pence had endorsed Taylor Robson, who held a commanding six point lead when the first results were announced around 8 p.m. Election Day. However, that margin continued to shrink as updated results were announced throughout the late evening hours.

With nearly 200,000 ballots across the state still needing to be tabulated as of Wednesday morning, election observers predicted Lake would likely receive the majority of the still-to-be-counted votes. They pointed to the Lake campaign’s well-executed “get out the vote” promotion for election day.

Those predictions held true throughout Wednesday as additional results were announced. Lake quickly pushed ahead of Taylor Robson and held a small lead all day.

Then on Thursday, Lake’s margin of victory continued to expand as the bulk of the previously unreported votes were announced. Shortly after 7 p.m., the Associated Press declared Lake the winner. Her margin of victory is holding at just less than three percent.

Lake was brutally critical of Taylor Robson during the primary but hopes her main challenger “will come over” to support Lake’s campaign against the Democratic nominee, current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

“We don’t maybe agree on every single thing. but I think we agree on the most important issues of the day,” Lake said of Taylor Robson. “And I believe that Karrin will come in because I know for a fact Karrin loves this state.”

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) released a statement late Thursday congratulating Lake on her victory. Ducey, who is co-chairman of the RGA, was not quoted in the statement. Instead, the comments came from RGA Vice-Chair Kim Reynolds, the governor of Iowa.

“From tackling Biden’s border crisis, to standing up for law enforcement, or keeping Arizona’s economy growing, Kari is ready to fight for Arizona,” according to Reynolds. “In contrast, Katie Hobbs is nothing more than a radical far-left politician whose open borders, anti-law enforcement views are completely out of step with mainstream Arizona.”

Lake and Taylor Robson led a field of five Republicans seeking to take on Hobbs. One of those candidates was former Congressman Matt Salmon, who withdrew from the race in late June, past the deadline for having his name removed from the ballot.

Salmon received more than 27,700 primary votes despite throwing his support to Taylor Robson. Nearly 86 percent of those voters would have had to follow Salmon over to the Taylor Robson camp in order hold off Lake.

The other Republican candidates were Scott David Neely, who received almost 23,000 votes, and Paola “Z” Tulliani-Zen, who received nearly 15,500 votes.

GOP Candidate Matt Salmon Drops Out of Governor’s Race

GOP Candidate Matt Salmon Drops Out of Governor’s Race

By Corinne Murdock |

On Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon ended his campaign, citing low polling numbers. Salmon received an average of 12 to 14 percent of the vote in recent polls against his top two contenders, Karrin Taylor Robson and Kari Lake. 

“Unfortunately, numbers are numbers, and it has become clear to me that the path to a first-place victory is no longer a realistic possibility,” stated Salmon. “Republican primary voters deserve more than having their votes split on August 2nd, and so I am leaving this race for the same reason that I entered it: because it is what’s best for the people of Arizona.”

Salmon is the latest to drop out in the crowded Republican primary. Steve Gaynor withdrew at the end of April, also citing low polling numbers against top contenders Salmon, Lake, and Robson.

“This week I received survey results that showed I would have a high probability of winning against each of the other candidates in a head-to-head matchup,” wrote Gaynor. “In a three-way race, I would have a reasonable probability of winning. However, in a four-way race, my chance of winning is low enough to be unrealistic.”

State Treasurer Kimberly Yee withdrew at the beginning of this year, deciding to run for re-election to her current office instead.

That leaves Robson, Lake, Scott Neely, and Paola Tulliani-Zen, along with several write-ins: Patrick Finerd, Carlos Roldan, and Alex Schatz. Robson and Lake are the top two contenders in the field at present. 

The most recent poll from Trafalgar showed Lake with a 12-point lead over Robson.

However, Data Orbital polling from earlier this month revealed Lake with a four-point lead over Robson. The pollsters have an A/B rating from FiveThirtyEight. 

Another poll from OH Predictive Insights this month showed Lake with an even smaller margin of two points. 

Real Clear Politics averaged Lake at a seven-point lead ahead of Robson.

The Democratic primary is far smaller: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is up against businessman and career politician Marco Lopez. Former state legislator Aaron Lieberman withdrew last month.

OH Predictive Insights has consistently shown Hobbs with a comfortable lead over Lopez. In May, the pollsters found that 43 percent of those surveyed would vote for Hobbs, while only 9 percent would vote for Lopez. However, 40 percent reported that they were undecided. 

Predictive polling on who would win the governor’s race consistently showed Hobbs with a lead.

According to a May poll from GQR Research which Hobbs sponsored, the secretary of state led Robson by one point and Lake by five points. GQR has a B rating from FiveThirtyEight.

Data Orbital polling from February, which has an A/B rating, reported slightly different leads: Hobbs would lead Robson by five points and Salmon by one point, but Lake would lead Hobbs by one point. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to