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A New Hope to Flip an Arizona Senate Seat?

I have to be honest, folks: recent polling has not looked good for the GOP in Arizona when it comes to winning back Kyrsten Sinema’s U.S. Senate seat in 2024, despite the state being a ripe pickup opportunity for the GOP. But there may be one last hope.

As of now, Arizona Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego has emerged as the top contender in head-to-head matchups against all potential GOP rivals — including Kari Lake — whether in a three-way race with Sinema running as an Independent or a two-way race without her. While a previous poll showed Lake with a slight advantage, the latest polling indicates a lead for Gallego. Lake previously had a small edge in another poll.

Kyrsten Sinema is one of the most unpopular senators in the country, and Arizona is a reddish-purple state. It should be easy for a Republican to pull ahead in a three-way race with Sinema and Gallego, or even a two-way race with Gallego, who promises to be a far more reliably left-wing vote in the Senate.

The GOP candidates tested by OH Predictive Insights were former Gov. Doug Ducey, Karin Taylor-Robinson, Blake Masters, and Kari Lake. Polls at this stage may be unreliable, but they tell us that Republicans will have their work cut out for them in Arizona if they hope to flip the seat back to the GOP.

Enter Republican Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, who will formally enter the race next week, according to NBC News. “Lamb has remained a vocal critic of President Joe Biden’s administration’s handling of the southern border, telling a U.S. House committee in early March that his deputies have seized increasing volumes of fentanyl and encountered greater human-trafficking cartel movements,” NBC explains. “Lamb has been a fixture at major campaign events for the Arizona GOP’s statewide candidates as he eyed his own future run.”

Related: The 2024 Arizona Senate Race is an Opportunity the GOP Can’t Afford to Mess Up

Lamb was not one of the candidates tested by the OH Predictive Insights poll, so it remains to be seen how he fares against Gallego or both Gallego and Sinema. But after the 2022 midterms, he was a widely touted potential candidate for the U.S. Senate. And he had Lake’s support, as she was encouraging him to run.

“Kari is getting lots of calls, but she’s pretty disillusioned right now, and she likes the sheriff and told him she wants to see him run for Senate,” a Lake confidant told NBC News in December. “Lamb is beloved by the base and could really clear a primary field.”

The situation has changed since then, and Lake is now being considered as a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate seat. But currently, her performance in polls is the weakest among the potential GOP candidates, which could indicate that she should not pursue a Senate run and should instead focus on her efforts to expose fraud and corruption in Arizona elections. If Lamb is truly a candidate behind whom GOP primary voters can coalesce, he may be the GOP’s best shot at flipping the seat.

The question is, will Lake jump into the race after previously encouraging Lamb to run?

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