GOP Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters are likely to make large gains as ballots continue to be counted in the Grand Canyon State.
Lake has already overcome a double-digit election night deficit to pull within less than one percentage point of rival Katie Hobbs in the governor’s race.
As of Thursday afternoon, approximately 16,700 votes separated Lake and Hobbs, down from 183,000 on Tuesday night. In the Senate race, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly leads Masters by roughly 5 percentage points or about 100,000 votes with 70 percent of the vote in.
A large batch of 62,034 ballots dropped last night in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, which trended for Hobbs and Kelly. The data analytics firm Data Orbital tweeted, “This drop is only about 15% of the total ballots remaining and the batch we expected to be the worst for the Republicans.”
Maricopa County – 62,034 Ballots Reported
Kari Lake – 28,058 (45.9%)
Katie Hobbs – 33,018 (54.1%)
~360,000 Ballots left in Maricopa
Reminder(!!!) – This drop is only about 15% of the total ballots remaining and the batch we expected to be the worst for the Republicans. #AZ
— Data Orbital (@Data_Orbital) November 10, 2022
There are about 600,000 ballots left to be counted statewide. Among the final ballots that counties process are the mail-in ballots that voters drop off at polling places on Election Day.
County officials must perform signature verification on all these ballots before they can be submitted to be counted, which causes the time delay.
In 2020, these Election Day drop-off ballots trended heavily for then-President Donald Trump, allowing him to cut now-President Joe Biden’s lead from over 90,000 votes to the Democrat’s ultimate victory margin of just 10,457 votes.
A similar pattern played out in August for Lake in her race with establishment Republican candidate Karrin Taylor Robson, with Robson jumping out to a double-digit lead on election night. However, Lake passed her rival the next day and ultimately won the race.
Lake tweeted Wednesday, “Remaining ballots (Election Day & Early Drop-offs) are all breaking BIGLY for [Kari Lake]. Just like we knew they would.”
Remaining ballots (Election Day & Early Drop-offs) are all breaking BIGLY for @KariLake. Just like we knew they would.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) November 9, 2022
Lake told podcast host Steven Crowder on Thursday morning of the remaining votes to be counted, “The good news is almost 400,000 of them are people who had an early ballot and dropped it off on Election Day.”
“Now, who does that?” Lake asked. “Those are people who are nervous about dropping them off in those drop boxes. They’re nervous about dropping them in the mail. They want to show up on Election Day and hand-deliver it.”
“Those are going to go heavily our way,” she said. “These are Republican voters. These are people who distrust the election system. And those would be voters who would vote for me.”
Over 384K Mail-In ballots dropped off on Election Day!
These ballots are overwhelmingly in support of @KariLake & not a single one of them has been counted yet
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) November 10, 2022
Lake said those ballots will likely be between 60 and 80 percent in her favor.
She further noted a lot of the remaining votes will come from “Box 3,” in which Election Day voters were instructed to place their ballots when polling site tabulator machines did not work.
County officials said that the ballots deposited in Box 3 would be taken to the Maricopa County Elections Department facility in downtown Phoenix to be processed.
Based on the 2020 and the primary election pattern, Lake is seemingly in a good position to win the race.
Masters also tweeted Wednesday that he is confident he will win.
With the remaining ballots outstanding, we are confident we will win.
— Blake Masters for U.S. Senate Press (@MastersPress) November 9, 2022
Masters has a higher mountain to climb and would have to outperform Trump’s 80,000-vote gap-closing run in 2020.
A version of this article originally appeared on Patriot Project.
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