Lake had also called late Arizona Senator John McCain a “loser” and boasted after winning the primary that she and her supporters “drove a stake through the heart of the McCain machine.” At one of her final rallies before Election Day, she said if there were any McCain supporters present, they should “get the hell out.”
And then she lost Monday night to Democrat Katie Hobbs.
Although the gubernatorial race had come down to the wire, Hobbs had maintained a steady lead over Lake during the entire weeklong vote-counting process.
MSNBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard, who covered Lake for the past 18 months, was clear on why she lost.
Lake “predicated her campaign on trying to sell” Donald Trump’s conspiracy that he really won the 2020 election, Hillyard said, pointing out that Arizona has “rejected Trumpism” for the past three election cycles.
She had campaigned with major Trump allies such as Steve Bannon, and promoted Trumpist messages including white supremacy and attacking election officials. And then she—and a slew of other Trump-backed candidates—lost big on election night.
Lake “was the latest one to fall, essentially making it a clean sweep,” Hillyard said. “And now Donald Trump is going to go and try to run on the very message that all these people lost on.”