45th President Trump’s endorsement is looking more and more like it’s made of gold with Kari Lake’s win in the Arizona primary against extreme moderate and RINO-backed Karrin Taylor Robson, who lost to Lake. Lake had the coveted endorsement of Trump, while Robson was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence and the state’s retiring Gov. Doug Ducey — a Trump critic.
The Washington Examiner reports:
Lake bested wealthy businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson 47.9% to 43.2% in the Arizona GOP gubernatorial primary despite being outspent 18 to 1 on radio and broadcast and cable television. Lake spent just shy of $827,000 on the air, according to the most recently available figures, while Taylor Robson blanketed the airwaves with $15.3 million in campaign advertising. Lake also got clobbered by Taylor Robson on total spending, $18.4 million to $3.6 million.
“Kari Lake had so many built-in advantages over the rest of the field,” Barrett Marson, a Republican operative in Phoenix, said Wednesday. “I don’t think any amount of ground game, any amount of money, or any substantial policy differences could have stopped a Trump-backed media star.”
Marson, an ally of term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who endorsed Taylor Robson, supported former GOP Rep. Matt Salmon, who ended his gubernatorial campaign before the Aug. 2 primary. Some Republicans share Marson’s view, saying it’s easy to take shots at Taylor Robson’s campaign after the fact.
The Taylor Robson advisers catching the most heat are Doug Goodyear, a Republican operative who works for government relations firm DCI Group and is a longtime Ducey associate, and Jon Seaton, a GOP strategist. Some of their Republican critics say something must have gone awry with their advertising strategy to come up short after outspending Lake by a whopping $14.4 million.
“It was her campaign to lose after Matt Salmon dropped out, and she lost it,” a Republican insider in Arizona said to the Examiner. “There is always the balance of strong ads that get to millions of people — and the echo chamber that they hear … at the grassroots level. You had none of that with Karrin.”