Media calls Arizona governor’s race for Dem candidate Hobbs, GOP’s Lake reportedly advised to accept results

Counting remains ongoing a week after election day in Arizona, but some media outlets on Monday formally called the state’s gubernatorial race in favor of the Democratic nominee, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who also happens to be overseeing the counting of ballots in her own election.

The question now becomes whether Republican nominee Kari Lake will accept the results and concede defeat or mount an effort to “storm the castle” in opposition, which she has reportedly been advised against doing, according to The Washington Post.

Lake advised to not “storm the castle”

Lake, a former local news anchor from Phoenix, had led in most of the polls ahead of the election and had been projected to win the governor’s race by many analysts, even as initial counts in the first few days after the election had shown Hobbs with a substantial lead.

As the days passed, however, Lake appeared unable to completely close the gap and surpass Hobbs’ advantage, and per the Post, confidence and elation over an anticipated victory transformed into dismay and resignation over an apparent imminent defeat in the “war room” the Lake campaign had established in a Scottsdale hotel.

Now, according to unnamed sources said to be close to the campaign, Lake has been advised to remain calm and measured and to not angrily “storm the castle,” so to speak, in outraged opposition to the reported results of an election marred with mistakes and potential disenfranchisement of voters — not to mention being overseen by one of the candidates — that many voters view with some measure of skepticism.

For what it is worth, Lake has not yet conceded defeat, nor has she released a formal statement about the race being called, save for a tweet Monday night that simply stated, “Arizonans know BS when they see it.”

Media projects Hobbs will prevail

The Associated Press is one of the media outlets that has already called the Arizona gubernatorial race for Hobbs on Monday, even as it acknowledged on Tuesday that there were still at least 43,000 ballots left to be counted.

The outlet explained that it decided to call the race based on its estimation that there were likely an insufficient number of votes left for Lake among the remaining outstanding ballots to make up the difference between her and Hobbs.

According to Hobbs’ Secretary of State’s office, as of the latest update of the unofficial results, Hobbs held a lead of around 18,500 votes over Lake out of more than 2.5 million ballots cast in the race, for a margin of 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent.

Given the average rate by which counted ballots were breaking for each candidate in released batches over the past couple of days, in favor of Lake but only just slightly, it has been projected that Lake will be unable to close the gap and surpass Hobbs with the relatively small number of ballots left to be counted.

Concede defeat or keep fighting through litigation?

“Nobody is advocating to go storm the castle,” an unnamed individual said to be “familiar” with the discussions inside Lake’s “war room” told the Post, suggesting that the candidate was being advised to accept the results and concede defeat.

However, given Election Day issues with voting machine malfunctions in Maricopa County, as well as Hobbs’ refusal to recuse herself from overseeing her own election, among other pertinent issues, the outlet also noted that some of Lake’s advisers and supporters have called for lawsuits to challenge the ballot counting processes and reported results and have suggested that a recount should be held before the final results are certified.