With five weeks to go before Arizonan voters choose a successor to termed-out GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, no one is predicting a winner.
The latest polls show a standoff between Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake, who won the GOP primary over the candidate endorsed by Ducey.
According to a just-completed CBS New/You Gov survey among likely voters in the Grand Canyon State, Secretary of State Hobbs and former TV newscaster Lake are tied with 49% each. According to a Marist College poll of the same voters, Lake ekes out the lead over Hobbs by 46% to 45%.
A third statewide poll conducted by Fox News showed Hobbs with the edge over Lake 44% to 43%.
"Lake is going to win," former state Republican Chair Randy Pullen told Newsmax without hesitation, "She is outworking Hobbs, doing four to five events a week."
Pullen, like Gov. Ducey and former Vice President Mike Pence, supported Lake's primary opponent, developer Karrin Taylor Robson. But with Donald Trump's blessing, Lake won 48% to 43%.
It was widely thought by pundits and pollsters that, given her record as a protester of the 2020 election results and her strong pro-life stand, Lake was doomed to disaster in the fall. But with the state Republican Party united behind her, tshe has excelled.
"I look at a lot of polls," said Pullen, "When you look at the polls you see, Kari has been gaining steadily. It's all about momentum."
Pullen and others see the fear of a border invasion by illegal immigrants as helping to fuel Lake's momentum. The Republican hopeful has taken a hard line against illegal immigration. In addition, repeated surveys have shown that inflation is hurting Democrat hopefuls such as Hobbs.
Another issue that strongly resonates with Arizona voters is that of education reform. Taking a page from the winning campaign book of Virginia's Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Lake has campaigned hard on greater parental control over local education and parents' power over that of school boards.
In addition, her strong endorsement of school vouchers differs sharply with that of teachers union favorite Hobbs and recently won her the endorsement of The Wall Street Journal.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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