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Kari Lake Positioned To Lead GOP Copper State Comeback

•, by Andrew Shirley

But Lake, a former television news anchor, has refused to give up the fight, and may yet pull out a victory this November.

With Democrat-turned-Independent Kyrsten Sinema electing to not run for re-election in the Copper State this year, the liberal money machine has poured immense resources into holding the seat. Gallego, a former Marine originally from Chicago, has spent $4.5 million on the race so far and has an additional $9.6 million on hand to flood the airwaves in the final months of the race.

Lake, meanwhile, has spent $2.4 million and has just over $2.5 million in the bank.

Despite Gallego's clear money advantage, the race remains within reach for Lake. The latest RealClearPolitics polling average has Gallego with a six-point lead, but he appears to be trending in the wrong direction. An Emerson poll from February found Gallego to have a seven-point edge, while the same pollster reported just a two-point lead for Gallego a month later.

Republicans are eager for a turnaround in Arizona following a series of setbacks in recent years. After the GOP presidential nominee carried Arizona in every election since 2000, Biden eked out a victory there by just over 10,000 votes in 2020 (notably amid serious questions about election integrity).

This year, Arizona's 11 electoral votes are again a top target for both candidates. In a closely contested race, there are several scenarios where Arizona could prove decisive.

Democrats have also seen a turnaround in their Senate fortunes in Arizona in recent years. In 2018, Sinema won the race to replace the retiring Republican Jeff Flake. Two years later, Democrat Mark Kelly defeated Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to fill the seat of the late John McCain. In 2022, Kelly won re-election to a full six-year term.