Who’s Afraid of Kari Lake?


Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake are up for the gubernatorial election to replace current Governor Doug Ducey. 

Forecasts show that the race will be very close, but some speculate that Hobbs’s refusal to debate her opponent might cause Arizona to swing red this election. 

Debates are the only way to sway many undecided voters.

According to the International Growth Centre, “Voters showed improved awareness of specific candidates, their policies, and general political knowledge for several weeks after viewing a debate… Participants reported that debates helped inform their choices at the ballot box.’ 

Debates are integral to voters being more aware of the candidates’ policies and enable them to see if voter values match with theirs.

Hobbs’s refusal to debate limits voters’ knowledge of her ideals and makes her seem weak and scared of her opponent.

The October 13th debate could have helped voters with their decision at the ballot box. 

“There are more than 3 million voters on the AEVL [Active Early Voting List] in our state”, and currently “there are over four million registered voters as of August 2022”, so the amount of people that vote early is substantial, “and about 33% of those voters are undecided,”  according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s website. 

This significant voter base could have been made aware of both Lakes and Hobbs’s intentions and seen for themselves who is right for Arizona. 

Although receiving much backlash, Hobbs sustained the decision to not debate Lake. 

In a recent interview with Meet the Press Now, Hobbs said, “If you recall the last GOP primary debate here in Arizona, it ended up on late-night comedy television… It’s clear that Kari Lake is much more interested in creating a spectacle and having the spotlight than actually having a substantive discussion about the issues.” 

Hobbs is correct that many late-night hosts, like John Oliver and Seth Meyers, picked up the last Arizona primary debate to make fun of it; however, it has been an ongoing trend for late-night shows to cover political debates especially if they are particularly outlandish. 

Hobbs’s decision to not debate Lake likely does more bad than good by portraying her as scared of talking about real issues in Arizona.

Even if Lake is just trying to “create a spectacle,” a strong opponent should be able to call this behavior out in a debate instead of cowering and giving Lake more ammo to use with the press.  

This was the only chance that Hobbs had to directly talk to Lake about Arizona’s issues and yet she did not do so.

It’s too late now to get the rhetoric out of Arizona voters’ minds that Hobbs is afraid of the spotlight. 

Hobbs’s decision to not debate Lake is a key factor that could push Arizona red once again for the next four years.