Rachel Leingang: Candidates in Arizona GOP primaries almost uniformly sought Donald Trump's approval. She says candidates who vigorously defended the 2020 election results didn't have a path to victory. But for those who got the endorsement, it proved critical, she says. A strong, well-funded candidate who campaigned on supporting democracy might have been able to break through the cacophony of candidates all spouting similar election-denial messages, she adds. One of most ardent defenders of the state’s 2020 presidential election results got pummeled in the primaries, but he seems to be the exception to the overarching election denialism theme this year, she writes. The state party “definitely put their finger on the scale for a lot of candidates,” Republican consultant Lisa James says.
Arizona Democrats quietly celebrated the Trump slate’s victories, believing they now have a solid shot in November. A flood of money from outside groups will bombard Arizona voters from both sides. Democrats will paint their opponents as extremists, pointing to their election denialism and