Kari Lake Has Democrats Worried

If former TV anchor becomes Arizona's governor, her star power in the GOP could grow
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2022 11:40 AM CDT
Democrats Fear Long-Term Effects of Kari Lake Winning
Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks at a Trump rally last Sunday in Mesa.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, concerns Democrats for several reasons. One is that the 2020 election denier might very well win; polls show a close race now. Once in office, Lake could be a danger to the state's 2024 election process, Axios reports. And she'd be in position to move up. David Plouffe, former strategist for Barack Obama, said Lake already appears to be a "plausible presidential candidate." Opponents cite the longtime Phoenix TV news anchor's particular skills as a candidate. "She is Donald Trump with media training and polish," Ruby Cramer writes in the Washington Post.

Lake, 53, rode Trump's false claim of the presidential election being stolen, to political prominence, along with MAGA policies opposing abortion, immigration, pandemic health mandates, and critical race theory. She counts Trump as a fan. Lake told supporters he said to her: "No matter what I ask you, you always bring it right back to the election. I can ask you what the weather's like in Arizona, and you'll say, 'Well, it's nice, but how do I enjoy it when our elections are stolen and we don't have a country?'" Also following Trump's lead, Lake labels journalists "fake news media," though she worked as one of them for years. She mocks reporters and their employers when asked questions.

It helps that the Democratic nominee, Katie Hobbs, isn't putting up much of a fight, declining to debate Lake. Should Lake win, Democrats envision future GOP candidates fighting over her endorsement, as they do now over Trump's, rallying Republicans around the country, and appearing regularly on Fox News. Even before she entered the governor's race, Lake unnerved Democrats. "If you get a candidate who has the performance skills of a major market local TV anchor and the philosophy and thinking of Steve Bannon, that's a potent and dangerous combination," former Obama adviser David Axelrod had warned, adding, "Look at Italy." (More Kari Lake stories.)

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