Dozens of candidates who refuse to acknowledge President Biden as the legitimate winner in 2020 have won GOP primaries across the country this year. Arizona Republicans nominated a secretary of state candidate who wants to decertify the 2020 election results. A U.S. Senate candidate said in an ad, “I think Trump won”; and at least seven U.S. House candidates who have spread falsehoods about the election. Denying the election results has become the defining litmus test for Trump and his supporters and, among Republican voters in many states, a winning strategy. If the Arizona GOP nominees win those top jobs this year, they could wield tremendous power over the outcome of the 2024 presidential election. If they win the top jobs, they
Some Republicans in the state warn that nominating far-right candidates aligned with Trump may turn off independent and swing voters in November. Election deniers have lost voters such as Maria Kupillas, an independent from Scottsdale, who considers herself a moderate and stopped identifying as a Republican after Trump became the party’s presidential nominee in 2016. “I used to be a Republican, but I’m not a far right-wing Republican,” she said. “When I moved here I thought Arizona was purple and moderate and John McCain, Sandra Day O’Connor. And we’re actually not that; we're Paul Gosar and that ilk. It's a little depressing. It” says Linda Swenson, 72.
Several GOP candidates for the Arizona state legislature who have spent the past two years spreading election lies also won their primaries. They include a far-right conspiracy theorist who was censured by her chamber for her discriminatory comments at a white-nationalist conference and used her extreme rhetoric to raise money.