Lead-Swap in Arizona Senate Race as Trump Cries Foul on Vote Fraud Inaction Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich speaks to reporters in Phoenix in 2021. (AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)
By Jack Gournell | Monday, 02 May 2022 04:36 PM
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, once leading by double-digits in the race for the GOP nomination to unseat Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, has fallen to second-place in the latest polls.
In April, opponents cranked up their advertising and former President Donald Trump denounced him for not backing his claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election that saw Joe Biden take the state by about 10,000 votes, Politico reports.
Jim Lamon, a self-funded solar power executive, has gained on Brnovich in four public and private polls, according to Politico.
Real Clear Politics shows Brnovich's lead down to 5 points in an OH Predictive Insights poll taken the first week of April, and Lamon with a 1-point lead in a Trafalgar Group poll taken the last week of April.
Meanwhile, an internal poll for Lamon seen by Politico, shows Lamon with a 3-point lead over Brnovich, the outlet reports. That poll was taken the final full weekend of April by McLaughlin & Associates, and lines up with polls taken by Remington Research Group and Data Orbital, Politico reports.
Similarly, Trump has been putting his mouth where Lamon's money is. On Saturday night, the former president phoned in to an election integrity event held by Blake Masters, who is running third in the polls.
While not officially endorsing Masters, Trump noted to the crowd, "I heard Blake was the person that showed up" after Masters challenged Brnovich to a debate on election integrity issues. "And I want to thank Blake."
Masters had challenged Brnovich to debate him on election integrity issues, though Brnovich declined to participate in the event. Lamon was not invited.
A week earlier, Trump criticized Brnovich for not taking action on his voter fraud claims in his role as state attorney general.
Brnovich's office released a report in early April on the ongoing probe of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, where Trump says widespread voter fraud occurred. Brnovich's report said there were "serious vulnerabilities" in the election process, but did not make any claims of widespread fraud or that the election would have turned out differently. He did say his office is continuing to investigate.
On April 18, Trump released a statement slamming Brnovich as "politically correct" for not taking any substantial actions to challenge the election results.
"He did a report, and he recites some of the many horrible things that happened in that very dark period of American history but, rather than go after the people that committed these election crimes, it looks like he is just going to ‘kick the can down the road’ and stay in that middle path of non-controversy. He wants to be politically correct," Trump said.
"Because of the amount of time that it took him to do the report, which was endless, his poll numbers have been rapidly sinking," Trump added. "Now, people are upset with the fact that while he states the problem, he seems to be doing nothing about it — he doesn’t give the answers."
Whoever wins the primary on Aug. 2, a win in November over incumbent Democrat Kelly could be key in the GOP's efforts to win control of the Senate.