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Republican Governor Primary Tightens As Pence-Backed Candidate Gains Ground

Karrin Taylor Robson gained ground on her Trump-backed rival Kari Lake on Sunday in the lead-up to Tuesday’s GOP gubernatorial primary in Arizona, according to an Emerson poll released on Sunday.

The latest polling of Republican voters from July 28 – July 30 shows former TV anchor Lake with 46% support, while real estate attorney Robson has 47% support, Emerson poll data showed. For weeks, Lake has averaged a 10-point lead over her rival in the polls, according to RealClear Politics.

The competition between Robson and Lake has intensified in the weeks leading up to the primary, as Robson poured millions in negative ads against Lake into the Arizona airwaves, according to RealClear Politics. Robson has attempted to label her opponent as “Fake Lake” after several controversies called Lake’s commitment to conservative principles into question.

Robson campaign spokesperson Matthew Benson told the Daily Caller News Foundation the campaign feels confident heading into Tuesday’s primary.

“We know the race is close,” Benson said. “The Emerson polls are consistent with our internal polling. We are facing an uphill battle against an opponent with mainstream recognition.”

Lake was a registered Democrat from 2006-2012 and supported President Obama during his 2008 election, according to 12News. Lake told 12News she had grown disenchanted with the GOP during the Bush years because of the “endless wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Lake returned to the Republican party in 2012, and she has portrayed herself as a Trump loyalist since the start of the campaign in 2021, RealClear Politics reported.

Benson said the campaign expects a strong showing with mail-in ballots, which are especially popular among older voters.

The election is a proxy battle between Trump and former Vice-President Mike Pence, who has endorsed Robson, for the direction of the Republican Party, RealClear Politics reported. Lake has sought to model her campaign on Trump’s brand of populist fervor, fighting back against the “fake news” media and her “establishment-backed” opponent.

Lake’s campaign did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

The Emerson poll was conducted with a sample size of 600 likely Republican voters and had a margin of error 3.9%.

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