Your Friday Update: Here's Why the Arizona Races Might Shift Drastically Soon

AP Photo/Matt York, File

Democrats Katie Hobbs and Mark Kelly expanded their leads in the Arizona gubernatorial and senatorial races, respectively, on Thursday, but Republican insiders are saying that good news could be on the way for Kari Lake and other statewide candidates.


As of Friday morning, Hobbs is leading at 50.7 percent to Lake’s 49.3 percent, and Kelly is ahead with 51.7 percent, whereas Masters is at 46.1 percent.

While other counties posted some results as well, the noteworthy ballot drop came from Maricopa County, which posted the unofficial results of another nearly 79,000 ballots.

County officials said that these ballots were cast before Election Day, particularly Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, according to ABC15 Arizona’s Garrett Archer. The batch broke 54.8 percent for Hobbs and 45.1 for Lake in the governor’s race. For the senate race, it broke 55.7 percent for Kelly and 42.6 percent for Masters.

There were numerous reports that the 17,000 “Box 3” ballots from Election Day, which were the result of technical issues and sent to the downtown Phoenix elections center for processing, were going to be included in Thursday’s count. The county confirmed at a press conference on Thursday that they would not end up being included in that night’s tally.

Statewide, the results of nearly 500,000 ballots are left to be posted, and this figure is based on the estimate from Archer subtracted by Thursday night’s Maricopa County ballot drop.


In Maricopa County alone, there are 340-350,000 ballots still left, according to a Thursday night press release. A significant portion of these is early ballots that people dropped off at a vote center on Election Day.

Republicans remain optimistic that the remaining ballots will go in their favor, as they are, in essence, Election Day votes. Republican political consultant Landon Wall explained his reasoning in a thread on Thursday night:


“This was the last batch from Maricopa that was set to massively favor Hobbs and she underperformed in a big way. The stage is set for tomorrow when the early ballots dropped off on Election Day begin to be counted which will favor Kari Lake. Game on,” Wall said.

“1) Dozens of high quality polls indicated Republicans overwhelmingly intended to vote in person, and many of those intended to fill out an early ballot and walk it in on Election Day because they did not trust the post office and viewed that interchangeably with voting in person.

“2) Donald Trump won E day late earlies in Pima and Maricopa. Voting patterns are way closer to 2020 than they are 2018. They are a world away from 2018, we live in an absolutely different political reality.

“3) there are tens and thousands of missing high propensity Rs that are not reflected in any of the tabulated ballots at this time. It would be a massive anomaly for these core voters to have not showed up. Those voters will be reflected in the early ballots dropped off on e day,” he added.

In addition, Lake’s senior advisor argued on Thursday that there is currently “no mathematical path” for Hobbs to win.

A results post from Maricopa County is set to occur on Friday night, and it may be the first of the turning tide for Republicans if the ballots go the way they’re predicting. As a reminder, RedState uses Decision Desk HQ to project election winners and will not be considering other “calls” from political analysts and outlets.


Bonus update: I asked the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates on Thursday about where the 70 vote centers that had issues were located, and if they would end up posting a list of these vote centers at some point. Gates said that there were issues everywhere throughout the county and that, as part of an investigation, they would presumably release a list.


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