Democrat Katie Hobbs held a slim lead over Republican challenger Kari Lake on Sunday as the number of ballots remaining to be counted dwindles, making Lake’s path to victory more difficult.
Hobbs led Lake by just over 26,000 votes on Sunday night, with a narrow 1 percentage point gap between the two. The race was still too close to be announced, which means the suspense will continue.
As the day progressed, with more vote tallies across the state, Lake narrowed to Hobbs in the lead, who at one point Sunday was 36,000 votes.
Lake gained traction among voters in Maricopa County, where officials reported a big update of 97,000 votes overnight. Lake won the majority of those, over 54%, trimming Hobbs’ lead in the county and reducing it from about 57,000 votes to 48,500.
In an update to Maricopa County’s ballot tally on Saturday, which included ballots cast on Election Day, Lake won 52% and Hobbs won 48%.
Still, as the number of ballots left to count dwindles, Lake’s path to overtaking Hobbs’ statewide advantage becomes more difficult — but not impossible.
Ahead of Sunday’s big ballot update in Maricopa County, Lake was expected to win 56% of the statewide ballots remaining outstanding. After the update, she was expected to gain over 58%.
Election coverage: Live Updates | Arizona election results
Pima County, Arizona’s second largest and home to Tucson, added about 12,000 votes to its tally, which Hobbs won 60% to Lake’s 40%. That helped Hobbs widen his lead slightly, increasing the gap between the candidates to 1.6 percentage points, before the latest Maricopa County results tempered that.
Officials in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, have fewer than 100,000 ballots to count. The statewide total is about 160,000, according to statistics released by the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.
Candidates ask for patience
Hobbs, 52, is Arizona’s secretary of state and a former state legislator. She led a campaign for governor pledging to defend democracy — as she did after the 2020 election, receiving threats as a result — and restoring abortion rights after the Court United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year.
Lake, 53, is a former television news anchor who zoomed into the national spotlight and several Saturday Night Live skits as she bought into false claims of widespread voter fraud championed by former President Donald Trump. Lake spent 22 years as part of an anchor duo on Phoenix’s Fox 10 station. She has made border security, electoral reform and a “tough love” policy against homelessness central to her campaign.
Both candidates urged supporters to remain patient as the vote count continues, though Lake also questioned the length of the process and election procedures.
“Team Hobbs morale is high and we will stay the course, be patient and let our local election officials do their job without fear or interference,” Hobbs said in a video posted to social media on Saturday night.
Lake said during an appearance on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo that she was confident she would win the race.
“We need to get in there and restore confidence in our elections, we can’t be the laughingstock of the elections here in Arizona anymore,” she told Bartiromo.
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