Arizona’s Adrian Fontes and his fellow Democrat, Nevada’s Francisco Aguilar, have won their secretary of state races by beating a pair of QAnon allies who each denied that Donald Trump lost their respective swing states in races that were called Friday and Saturday evenings.
Fontes leads Mark Finchem 53-47 in Arizona with 88% of the estimated vote in, while Nevada’s Aguilar is outpacing Jim Marchant 49-47 with 98% of the estimated tally reporting. Fontes will succeed Katie Hobbs, a fellow Democrat who is running for governor, while Aguilar will replace termed-out Republican incumbent Barbara Cegavske.
Marchant, who among many other things claimed that anyone who won an election in Nevada since 2006 was “installed by the deep-state cabal,” assembled an “America First” slate of conspiracy theorist candidates running to control their state’s elections. Its roster included Finchem, who led the failed effort to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 victory in Arizona, as well as Michigan’s Kristina Karamo and Audrey Trujillo. Marchant, Karamo, and Finchem all participated in the same QAnon organized conference last year, with Finchem later holding a fundraiser in September featuring several QAnon notables.
All four members of this quartet, as well as Minnesota’s Kim Crockett, went down after an election cycle where the Democratic secretary of state candidates and their allies outspent Republicans by a 57 to 1 margin from July through late October. It wasn’t a complete shutout for the conspiracy theorists, though, as one member of Marchant’s late, Diego Morales, prevailed in heavily Republican Indiana.
Holy crap, what an amazing week! Where do we even begin this week's episode of The Downballot? Well, we know exactly where: abortion. Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard recap Tuesday's extraordinary results, starting with a clear-eyed examination of the issue that animated Democrats as never before—and that pundits got so badly wrong. They also discuss candidate quality (still really important!), Democratic meddling in GOP primaries (good for democracy, actually), and "soft" Biden disapprovers (lots of them voted for Democrats).