Mar 12, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Senate GOP's campaign arm goes all-in on Kari Lake

Arizona Republican Senate Candidate Kari Lake and an aide depart Capitol Hill on March, 6 2024 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the chair of the Senate GOP's campaign arm, will fundraise with Arizona Republican Kari Lake next month — a snapshot into the party's full-court press to help elect the pro-Trump election denier.

Why it matters: Republicans view the Arizona opening as one of their top opportunities to gain a Senate seat in November, prompting every corner of the party to coalesce around Lake, despite her controversial past.

  • Daines, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), will stump and fundraise for Lake in Arizona's Maricopa County on April 1, Axios has learned.
  • The NRSC will also help Lake pay for internal polling and her field program, which includes get-out-the-vote programs.

The big picture: The race is rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report, and the pressure is on for Daines to deliver Republicans a Senate majority in 2025.

  • The map is favorable to the GOP, with a number of vulnerable Democratic incumbents up for re-election.
  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Az.) announced last week that she would not run for reelection, clearing the way for Lake to face Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) one-on-one in November.

Between the lines: Republicans have launched a fundraising blitz to boost Lake's campaign account in recent weeks.

  • Lake raised $330,000 at a D.C. fundraiser earlier this month, which was attended by more than 17 GOP senators.
  • Lake is also planning a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on April 3, which is expected to raise over $500,000, a source familiar with the plans said.

The intrigue: Daines is among the names being floated as a possible replacement to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the next Senate GOP leader.

  • Daines has not entered the race, but former President Trump has encouraged him to seek the position.
  • Lake, the GOP's 2022 Arizona gubernatorial nominee, continues to push baseless conspiracy theories about both her race and the 2020 election being "stolen" by Democrats.

What they're saying: Lake said in a statement to Axios that she is thankful that "Chairman Daines, one of President Trump's strongest allies is coming to help me campaign."

  • Daines said in a statement to Axios that "Arizona is one of our top pickup opportunities in the country and I look forward to campaigning with Kari Lake to flip this seat."
Go deeper