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NEW REPORTS: Masters Embraces “Extreme Style” And Is “Questioning Whether The 2022 Midterm Election Will Be Legitimate,” Leaving Republicans “Flummoxed”

Two new major reports this morning from The Washington Post and CNN are highlighting how Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters “has adopted some of the farthest-right stances and rhetoric,” including “questioning whether the 2022 midterm election will be legitimate” – leaving Republicans “flummoxed by certain positions taken by Masters and other leading GOP candidates, fearing they will alienate centrist voters.”

See for yourself:

Washington Post: Arizona Senate candidate embraces Trump’s extreme style
By Hannah Knowles and Elizabeth Dwoskin
July 20, 2022

  • With calls for a nationwide abortion ban and a campaign ad declaration that “Trump won” in 2020, Masters has adopted some of the farthest-right stances and rhetoric in a staunchly conservative field — fueling some concerns among GOP strategists that his embrace of extremes could imperil their efforts to regain control of the narrowly divided Senate.
  • Masters stands out for his full-throated embrace of potentially divisive issues in a state that has previously sent moderates such as John McCain… to the Senate. Top Republicans once hoped to recruit a more traditional conservative, the term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey (R), for this year’s high-stakes race.
  • Some Republicans watching the fight for control of the evenly divided Senate see some of Masters’s comments — both past and present — as potential liabilities. Democrats have already criticized Masters along with his GOP rivals, who have also advocated hard-right views.
  • A national Republican strategist who works on Senate races said Masters’s college-era writings — which criticized American involvement in World War II while noting the “hot button issue” of the Holocaust — have stoked concerns about Masters among Jewish Republicans.
  • In a 2006 essay published on an antiwar website and first reported by Jewish Insider, Masters argued the U.S. “hasn’t been involved in a just war in over 140 years” and concluded with a quote from Nazi leader Hermann Goering, who said “the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.”
  • The neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin has also endorsed Masters… and an article website VDARE, which posts writing by White nationalists, has called him an “immigration patriot.”
  • As an online screed by the alleged Buffalo shooter began to circulate, Masters tweeted a clip of his interview days earlier with conservative podcast host Ben Shapiro. In it, Masters claimed Democrats were welcoming undocumented immigrants “so that some day they can amnesty these people and make them voters who they expect to vote Democrat.”
  • In a 2005 post, Masters praised American officials caught smuggling cocaine from Mexico to the U.S., calling them heroes for “seeking a profit while conducting trade between groups of consenting adults, in the face of government oppression.”
  • Now Masters tells voters he wants to…to outlaw abortions across the country.
  • Some Republicans said they are flummoxed by certain positions taken by Masters and other leading GOP candidates, fearing they will alienate centrist voters.

CNN: Trump-backed Arizona Senate candidate escalates election fears ahead of GOP primary
By Alex Rogers
July 20, 2022

  • Arizona Republican Blake Masters, who earned Donald Trump’s endorsement for the Senate race by embracing the former President’s lies that he won the 2020 election, has turned to questioning whether the 2022 midterm election will be legitimate.
  • The election denialism… has also raised questions about whether a GOP nominee who says Trump won in 2020 can carry a purple state that’s crucial to Republicans’ hopes of winning Senate control.
  • Lamon, who’s largely self-funding his campaign, also has ties to election denialism — touting his efforts to help fund the controversial, partisan audit of the vote in Maricopa County, which failed to prove fraud in the 2020 election.
  • Masters, trying to mobilize primary voters ahead of August 2, escalated his efforts to sow doubt about US elections late last month, posing questions about whether the cheating he claimed happened in 2020 will happen in 2022.
  • “Whatever their cheating capacity is, I’m pretty sure they pulled out all the stops,” Masters said of the last election, speaking to a room full of potential supporters at June 30 campaign event in Cave Creek, Arizona, according to a video posted on the sharing platform Rumble. “And the question is, will that happen again?”
  • He went on to say that his father urged him not to run, asserting that even if he won by 30,000 votes, “they’ll find 40,000 for Mark Kelly,” to which he said he replied, “I think there’s always cheating, probably, in every election. The question is what’s the cheating capacity.”
  • Trump’s belief that the 2020 election was stolen from him has loomed especially large in the Grand Canyon state, and it’s driving a rift between Trump’s strongest supporters and the rest of the party.
  • Paul Bentz, a veteran Phoenix-based pollster who is unaffiliated with any of the Senate campaigns… said the election denialism that both Masters and Lamon have embraced in the primary could hurt them in the general election.
  • “A vast majority of the unaffiliated and independent voters do not believe that there is significant fraud that impacted the outcome of the election,” Bentz said. “Masters, and others who go down this election fraud route, will struggle to obtain support from those audiences in the general election.”
  • “It’s not a winning general election strategy,” he added.
  • Masters — who has also floated the conspiracy theory that the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol actually may have been a false-flag operation set up by the FBI — is part of a growing chorus of Trump-endorsed Senate Republican candidates who are raising fears about the security of the 2022 election.
  • Lamon, a major donor to a voter registration group affiliated with election fraud conspiracy theorists, was also part of a small group that signed a document falsely claiming authority to cast Arizona’s electoral votes for Trump in December 2020.

See Also: DSCC: Two Weeks From Arizona Senate Primary, GOP Field Has Gone “Scorched-Earth” As Candidates “Slug It Out” In “One Of The Most Expensive” Intra-Party Fights

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