Trump-backed candidates win or are leading after Arizona primary elections

Arizona held its primary elections on Tuesday and, in addition to allowing voters to choose their respective party’s nominees for the general election in November, it also served as a sort of referendum for Republicans with regard to the continued influence on the GOP base of former President Donald Trump.

It would appear that Trump emerged victorious from Tuesday’s contest, as the two prominent candidates he endorsed either defeated or are leading their challengers, much to the dismay of Trump-hating Republican establishment figures like Meghan McCain, The Hill reported.

In the Senate race, Trump-endorsed candidate Blake Masters has already been declared the winner, while over in the gubernatorial contest, Trump-endorsed candidate Kari Lake maintains a slim lead in the as-yet uncalled race.

Meghan McCain is unhappy

Those results proved to be bitterly disappointing to Meghan McCain — the daughter of late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), in case you haven’t heard her mention it — and she took to Twitter Wednesday morning to let everyone know exactly how she felt about the apparent outcome of her state’s primary elections.

“I see my initial predictions were right despite the initial excitement of Robson pulling ahead,” McCain tweeted. “Congratulations to my home state for full making the transition to full blown MAGA/conspiracy theory/fraudster. The voters have spoken — be careful what you wish for …”

McCain’s tweet was largely in reference to the fact that her preferred candidate, local businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson, trailed Trump-backed candidate Kari Lake, a former local TV news anchor and reporter.

Proxy battle between Trump and GOP establishment

According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, as of Thursday afternoon, Lake led Robson by approximately 1.83 percent, or about 12,025 votes, though The Hill noted that there were an undetermined number of ballots that still remained to be counted.

Meanwhile, over in the Senate primary race, Trump-backed Masters cruised to an already declared victory and, as of Thursday, maintained a lead of more than 10 percent, or around 65,000 votes, over his nearest challenger, Jim Lamon.

The Hill reported separately Wednesday that the Arizona primary elections, especially for governor, had become a sort of proxy battle between the two wings of the Republican Party, with former President Trump’s “America First” populism aligning behind Lake while the old conservative establishment had backed Robson, who had received the endorsements of former Vice President Mike Pence and outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R).

One unnamed GOP operative with connections to Arizona told The Hill that the state had become “ground zero” in that internecine political fight that “certainly does feel like old guard vs. new guard.”

Looking forward to November

Now that Masters has won the Senate primary and become the Republican nominee, he will gear up to take on incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), a former astronaut who defeated appointed incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) in a 2020 special election.

As for Lake, should she ultimately prevail over Robson, she will take on in November the Democratic nominee, Arizona Sec. of State Katie Hobbs, where the disputed 2020 election results in the state will be a top issue, as Lake has loudly and repeatedly expressed skepticism about the prior outcome while Hobbs has vociferously defended the state’s electoral processes.

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