Democrats fear Arizona Republican Kari Lake will be a big star – Axios

Former President Trump with Kari Lake at a rally in Arizona. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Democratic Party strategists are watching Arizona's Kari Lake with growing alarm.
Why it matters: As some see it, Lake — a 2020 election denier — could easily win the state's gubernatorial race and threaten its 2024 election processes. And with the talent she's already displayed even as a political novice, they see her potential to soar to a vice presidential spot or a post-Trump presidential candidacy.
Zoom in: Of this year's midterm elections slate of "ultra MAGA" candidates, Lake has perhaps the best chance of winning.
What they're saying: David Plouffe, the architect of Barack Obama's 2008 victory, told Axios that Lake looks like a "plausible presidential candidate."
Former President Trump's advisers view Lake as the most politically potent of the "stop the steal" candidates. She is every bit as hardcore an election denier as Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano but infinitely more suited to the age of social media videos and quick TV hits.
Behind the scenes: Lake has other advantages that are less visible. Unlike Mastriano, she has been embraced by top figures in the Republican establishment. She is benefiting from their money and connections.
Between the lines: If Lake wins the governorship, Democrats anticipate that her future endorsements will be sought after, that she will be giving fiery speeches around the country, and that she will have a standing invitation on Fox News.
The bottom line: Former senior Hillary Clinton adviser Karen Finney said Lake represents "a more polished version" of MAGA.
The other side: “Kari Lake is all spectacle and no substance and we’re confident voters will see right through it," said Josselyn Berry, a spokesperson for the Arizona Democratic Party.


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