By Ronald J. Hansen and Caitlin McGlade || Arizona Republic
Kari Lake has suggested incompetence by election officials or cheating against Republicans by election officials hampered her failed gubernatorial bid.
Other top GOP candidates have offered similar explanations for Democratic wins in Arizona’s statewide U.S. Senate and secretary of state races.
But an Arizona Republic analysis of voting patterns, especially in Maricopa County, shows a simpler reason: Many Republicans just didn’t vote for the Republican candidates.
The GOP candidates who fumbled with voters in Republican-leaning districts are united by their denial of the 2020 presidential election results and support from former President Donald Trump. They were lionized at Trump’s rallies, painted as extremists by Democrats and rejected at the polls.
Consider Bayshore, an area in Gilbert wrapped around the Islands, an upscale planned community where Republicans have an 11 percentage-point registration advantage over Democrats.
Arizona state Treasurer Kimberly Yee, a Republican in a relatively low-profile race, won 57% of votes there. But Lake, described as a budding national star heading into the election, lost there to Democrat Katie Hobbs by about 20 votes.
Yee picked up about 230 more votes from that precinct than Lake received. The gap is even more striking considering about 130 fewer people voted in the treasurer’s race compared with the governor’s race from that precinct.
Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters lost to Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., there. Mark Finchem, the Republican secretary of state candidate, lost to Democrat Adrian Fontes there, too.
But it wasn’t the case that voters in Bayshore only wanted Democrats in 2022: They chose a Republican for Congress, the state superintendent of education, the Maricopa County attorney, the state House of Representatives and the state Senate.