There you go again: Lake's Senate candidacy is a test of which universe we inhabit

So do we just give Kari Lake a U.S. Senate seat now? Or do we have to wait until Kyrsten Sinema’s term ends on Jan. 3, 2025?

She’s announced her candidacy. We know how Lake feels about elections. She gets to win. Everyone else has to lose. She’s gonna tell her mom and then we’ll all be sorry.

Lake won a 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary she called rigged. So when she lost the general election to Democrat Katie Hobbs, well, we all knew what would happen next.

She did her litigious Energizer Bunny thing and just kept suing and suing. Hobbs remains governor anyway. Yet the suits keep coming.

Honestly, I’m losing track. She may have filed litigation to Judge Judy and/or Judge Reinhold. I swear I heard she appealed to the Council of Six of Daleran, but I’m not up on my Azeroth news because I don’t do World of Warcraft. I can’t keep it straight because, frankly, I don’t want to.

So if she’s announced a Senate bid, we can assume she thinks she already won, right?

Lake seems to have a commanding lead in the Republican primary against Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and whomever the hell Brian Wright is, other than the guy who’s gonna finish at four percent. 

Her problem is the general election and that problem is specifically “McCain Republicans.” 

I don’t see the 2024 election in the classical way. It’s not a debate between world views or a battle over how to frame the campaign. This election is a question of whether we live in a universe where up is still above us and down is still below. Lake is a non-starter there. If the whole country has passed through some space-time portal, where the reality is halfway between truth and absolute lies, then she can’t lose.

Greetings from Earth 1

Way-too-early polling shows moderate Republicans h-a-a-a-a-a-t-e this woman.

Maybe that’s because days before the 2022 midterm she asked a crowd at a campaign event if there were any McCain Republicans in the house. Then she pointed to the door and said “Get the hell out!”

Turns out they haven’t forgotten.

Let’s start with the three-way contest that includes U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego and incumbent independent Kyrsten Sinema. 

In poll after poll taken over the summer and into the early fall, Lake is trailing Gallego, because she fails to register 40 percent support and is typically in the low 30s. In one poll, she’s coming in third behind Sinema.

Gallego is holding the Democrats pretty well. 

Sinema is usually in the teens because would-be Republican voters are throwing in with her.

These early numbers fly in the face of conventional wisdom (as does most “reality”) that holds Gallego can win a two-way race but Sinema will spoil his campaign by dividing her former party. That’s not happening. She’s dividing Republicans, who prefer her and at this point seem fine with Gallego winning.

New campaign finance numbers are due Oct. 15, which means July numbers are about as old as they can be. Gallego had raised $7.4 million as of June 30. Sinema was at $13 million, but had four and half years to generate that haul. Gallego had spent all but $2 million, while Sinema had $10.5 million on hand.

The airport ambush 

Gallego seems to have noticed.

His reaction to Lake ambushing him at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport shows he’s learned a thing or two. Lake has learned nothing.

The two were on the same flight and apparently Lake tried to troll him about calling the border wall “racist.” Cuz, y’know, it is. He invited her back to economy class to discuss the issue. Lake was flying first class (isn’t she unemployed?)

Then after they landed, Lake buttonholed him in front of a men’s room door. Gallego showed infinite grace. He said they should work with each other to fix the problems at the border. Lake issued her zinger: “I’m not going to work together. I’m going to beat you.”

My first instinct was Gallego should have gone off on her and her party for refusing to provide the resources needed at the border because they want chaos to justify a bloodthirsty policy. Maybe he could have added: “I’ll talk to you on election night when you accept the will of the voters,” as he turned away laughing. 

Gallego’s approach was far more effective. Don’t spook McCain Republicans waiting for the chance to throttle Lake’s candidacy and put Gallego in the Senate. 

Lake hasn’t changed or moderated. She’s still a local TV news personality, who can feign empathy with upturned eyebrows and modulating her voice to project caring reason.

It doesn’t last long. She’s really a Bravo-ized TV candidate with a starring role in Real Republicans from Wackjob City.

Her problem in a two-way race is pure math. She’s told Democrats, moderate Republicans and one can only assume moderate independents that she hates them. A candidate who campaigns against 60 percent of the voters shouldn’t be shocked when half of ’em vote against her.

She lost Republican-rich Sahuarita in 2022, when Democratic turnout was terrible. A more balanced presidential-year vote won’t improve her odds.

Am I saying she can’t win? Oh hell yes she can.

A morning gone by

I want to take readers back to a specific time. It was October of a year when a president was up for re-election. Inflation stood at 4.5 percent, higher than today. Unemployment was over 7.4 percent, double what it is now and growth was at 3.9 percent, pretty much at 2023 levels. The prime lending rate was at 12.5 percent, 50 percent higher than it stands today. Crime? Oh man. The violent crime rate was 60 percent higher than it is now.

Wow.

That president must have gotten his ass kicked for being in charge during such dystopia, right? 

Nope. 

It was “Morning in America” and Ronald Reagan won 49 states and 60 percent of the vote.

Biden’s America is in better shape than Reagan’s, but voters in the 1980s saw worse times as cause for sunny optimism. It’s 40 years later and fortunes are better but voters are grabbing the survivalist gear and gas masks.

Has the Steve Bannon-devised MAGA plan of covering the world in shit succeeded in making everyone cynical about everything? Or can the smell of such a fetid political landscape ruin any view?

Scariest poll ever

A new poll shows reiterated results of similar surveys. Voters trust Republicans (aka MAGA Republicans) over Democrats on issues like the economy and immigration by 20 points. 

OK, fine. Here’s my question. Since the GOP’s platform remains loyal to Donald John Trump, can anyone name for me a Trump policy on the border or the economy that was popular when he proposed it between 2017 and 2021?

His tax cuts weren’t popular. They just made the rich richer and sustained Barack Obama’s economic trajectory. His trade war wasn’t popular. Voters strongly opposed the Obamacare repeal. The country got nothing for it. Family separations weren’t popular nor was the border wall. 

Meanwhile, can anyone name for me a Biden policy that hasn’t been popular? 

Infrastructure? Score. Tax credits for electric vehicles and solar power? Hellz yeah.  Letting Medicare negotiate drug prices? Go for it. A path to citizenship for migrants? All day long, baby.

So voters prefer Democratic policies on key issues but want Republicans calling the shots to do exactly the opposite.

One way to make sense of it is Democrats can’t communicate their way out of a Big Mac wrapper.

Maybe, voters just don’t have their thinking caps on yet in regards to the election and what they are really saying is “Why are you bothering me? It’s 2023.”

The scary interpretation is the plain-text reading, which isn’t contradictory at all because we have already crossed over into Earth 2. Voters are saying they want to deal themselves out of self-governance. Just let Trump and Republicans decide what’s best for everyone because screw everything, it’s all B.S.

Lake and Trump are trying to forge a midpoint between facts and total lies. That doesn’t work. It’s like trying to walk on ground that’s half real.

For now, I’m 60-40 that the answer is the Democrats just suck at this stuff and when voters put their thinking caps on a year from now, they’ll figure it out in spite of the Left’s attempts to “message.”

Less dangerous, still a threat

A woman who threw a temper tantrum because she lost an election would have been a political goner 10 years ago. 

We’ll see if those rules still apply.

The danger of Lake in the Senate is not as bad as if she were governor. Think of all the bills Lake would have signed into laws that govern our lives. She would have been in a position to refuse to sign off on the whole ballot, leading to a constitutional crisis in Arizona. 

In the Senate, she’d be one of 100.

However, she could be another brick in the MAGA wall. And she’s established that only her party should be allowed to win elections because her party has the God-given authority to rule in perpetuity and the people shouldn’t be able to blip about it.

At that point, that thing we know of as “America” starts to die. Make no mistake: Kari Lake wants to kill it. 

Luckily, her biggest opponent stares her in the face every time she looks in the mirror.