Once reliably red, Arizona has now become one of the top battleground states this year and the forefront of 2020 election denialism, with contentious races up and down the Grand Canyon State’s ballot. In the governor’s race it’s a toss up between Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs.
Lake is a former TV news anchor who has embraced the label of "Trump in a dress."
And she’s also become a prominent election denier, pushing false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Trump. She has refused to say whether she will accept the results of the governor's race if she loses.
"I’m going to win the election and I will accept that result," said Lake.
"If you lose will you accept that?" asked CNN anchor Dana Bash.
"I’m going to win the election and I will accept that result," she repeated.
Hobbs, Arizona’s former secretary of state, has branded Lake a threat to democracy.
"This is disqualifying. This is a basic core of our democracy, and she has nothing else to run on," said Hobbs.
But Hobbs has also come under fire, even from within her own party, for refusing to appear on the debate stage. The refrain has now become "where is Katie?"
Another election denier, Blake Masters, is hoping to oust incumbent Democratic senator Mark Kelly in Arizona.
"I suspect President Trump would be in the White House today if big tech, big media and the FBI didn’t work together to put the thumb on the scale to get Joe Biden in there," said Masters.
Masters has echoed Trump’s calls to build a wall on the southern border.
"This is an invasion. We know what we need to do. We need to finish Trump’s wall," said Masters.
He accused Democrats of being extreme on abortion and absent on the economy.
"These people don’t care about what’s actually happening to you," said Masters.
Kelly has focused his campaigning on bipartisanship and finding compromise on issues like immigration.
"I've been strong on border security, and I've stood up to Democrats when they're wrong on this issue," said Kelly.
Pollsters said these neck-and-neck races could be tipped by Arizona’s Hispanic population, which nationwide is trending more toward the right. But Chris DeRose, a former clerk of the Superior Court in Maricopa County, said Arizona voters aren’t so predictable.
"In Arizona, we vote for candidates and we don’t necessarily vote for parties. Republican candidates have a built-in advantage in Arizona. But Republicans are ticket-splitters. They vote for candidates, they don’t vote for parties. So it’s very easy to see someone like Mark Kelly prevailing along with someone like Kari Lake with a lot of the same voters," said DeRose.