Democrats narrow their lead, albeit small, in major Arizona constituencies

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s Democrats maintain a slight lead over their Republican rivals in the Senate and gubernatorial races, dictating control of the Senate and the rules of the 2024 election in a key battleground state. It’s a potential contest.

With about 600,000 votes remaining, about a quarter of the total votes cast, it remained premature to hold an election two days later.

Protracted vote numbers have been important for years in Arizona elections, where the overwhelming majority of votes are cast by mail and many people wait at the last minute to vote. But as Arizona transforms from a Republican stronghold to a competitive battlefield, the delay is increasingly a source of national anxiety for both parties.

After opening up a large lead early on election night, when only early-returned mail-in ballots were reported, Democrats have seen their lead dwindle as more Republican votes are counted. On Thursday morning, Democrats took the lead in the races for the Senate, governor and secretary of state, but virtually tied the race for the attorney general. It could be days before the winners of some of the tight contests are revealed.

The Republican Party is still on the loose, and it’s unclear if Democrats’ better-than-expected approval ratings in much of the U.S. will extend to Arizona, a longtime Republican stronghold that has been a battlefield during the presidency of Donald Trump. remained.

The Republican Party has nominated a string of candidates who have won Trump’s endorsement after falsely claiming his loss to President Joe Biden was tainted.

In it, former TV newscaster Kari Lake trails Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ race by about half a point in a contest focused on Lake’s unsubstantiated fraud claims in the 2020 election. The Republican candidate for Attorney General also trailed off slightly.

The Democrats had a comfortable five-point lead in the race for the US Senator and Secretary of State, but with so many votes left, it was too early to hold an election.

In the race for Attorney General, Republican Abraham Hamade took the lead over Democrat Chris Mays.

Officials in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county, said about 17,000 ballots were affected by a printing accident in which ballot counters failed to read some ballots, delaying voting in some locations and said it enraged Republicans who were expecting a strong Election Day vote. County officials said all votes would be counted, but did not provide a timeline for doing so.

The cause remains a mystery. Two of his senior officials on the county board of oversight, who are Republicans, said in a statement Wednesday night that they used the same printers, settings and paper thicknesses for the August primary and pre-election tests. but there were no widespread problems.

“There is no perfect election. Yesterday was not a perfect election,” Oversight Board chair Bill Gates told reporters earlier in the day. “We learn from it and do better.”

Lake reiterated his promise to call lawmakers to a special session as soon as he is sworn in to make major changes to Arizona’s election laws. She wants to slash early voting and mail-in ballots, which her eight elect to at least 10 of her Arizona voters, and hand count all ballots.

A ballot can contain dozens of races. In addition to state and local elections and 10 ballot measures, Maricopa County has more than 50 judges on the ballot.

“We’re going back to smaller districts where it’s easier to find and fix problems and easier to count votes,” Lake told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night. “These are some of the things I want to do. I will work with Congress.”

The political urban-rural divide was evident among Arizona voters.

Democratic Senators Katie Hobbs and Mark Kelly each have support from nearly two-thirds of urban voters, according to AP VoteCast, a large survey of more than 3,200 voters in Arizona. I got

Suburban voters were split almost evenly between the two Democratic candidates and Republican rivals Kari Lake and Blake Masters. Voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to support Lake and Masters.

In the Senate election, the preferences of suburban male and female candidates were divided. Suburban men clearly preferred Masters, while suburban women preferred Kelly.

In the gubernatorial election, suburban men overwhelmingly supported Lake, while suburban women marginally favored Hobbes.

Meanwhile, Republicans who control the three-man oversight board in southeastern Arizona’s Republican-majority Cochise County voted Wednesday to appeal a judge’s decision to stop all ballots from being counted by hand. The we.

Efforts to hand-count ballots in counties and elsewhere around the country have led some Republicans to believe that problems with ballot counting machines and voter fraud led to Trump’s 2020 defeat. Driven by no concerns.

The judge said the plan violated state election laws that limit hand-counting to a small sample of ballots, a process designed to ensure that machine counts are accurate.


Contributed by Associated Press writers Bob Christie and Terry Tan.