It's still early, but preliminary indications are that things are going the Democrats' way in Arizona when it comes to next year's U.S. Senate contest. The Democrats really need to hold that seat, of course, if they want to have a chance to hold on to their Senate majority.
To start, there are two new polls of the still-mostly-hypothetical race, one from Emerson and one from Noble Predictive Insights. And they both have three rather significant findings. The first is that the Democrats' presumptive nominee, Rep. Ruben Gallego, is a slight favorite to win in all conditions. The second is that Gallego does better when Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) is in the race, as she draws more Republican votes than Democratic. And the third is that Gallego does best when Kari Lake is the Republican candidate.
That latter point is particularly worth noting because while Lake is the weakest of the major Republican candidates in the general election, she's crushing the Republican primary field. According to Emerson, she is the preferred candidate of 42% of Arizona Republicans, as compared to 11% who like Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, 7% who favor former Senate candidate Blake Masters, and 4% for minor candidates. In other words, if Lake wants the nomination, it looks to be hers.
And guess what? Apparently, she does want it. Yesterday, Axios broke the news that Lake is hiring staff and getting things in order so that she can formally launch a Senate campaign in October. Needless to say, she's not only going to be an anchor around the Arizona GOP; she's going to hurt the party nationally with her election denial and other whackadoodlery.
So, at least for the moment, things really look to be going the blue team's way in the Grand Canyon State. (Z)