Home>Congress>Data: Abe Hamadeh has Clear Edge Over Blake Masters in CD8

Abraham Hamadeh speaking with attendees at an Attorney General candidate forum hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the Arizona Commerce Authority in Phoenix, September 15, 2022. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Data: Abe Hamadeh has Clear Edge Over Blake Masters in CD8

2022 election found Masters trailing other statewide GOPers in the District

By Ken Kurson, October 18, 2023 10:53 am

If you love politics and you love numbers, then what you do the day after the surprise retirement of an incumbent Republican US Representative is pore through the data of that district’s most recent election.

So far, 2022 candidate for Attorney General Abraham Hamadeh is the only announced candidate to replace retiring Congresswoman Debbie Lesko. And the only audible rumors the Globe has picked up as possible GOP challenger is Blake Masters, the 2022 Republican nominee for US Senate.

Because both Hamadeh and Masters ran statewide in 2022, it’s worth comparing their popularity in CD8, which covers the suburbs north and west of Phoenix and is located entirely within Maricopa County.

In the 2022 gubernatorial race, of the 307,398 votes cast, Republican Kari Lake got 170,308 votes to Katie Hobbs 137,090 — 55.4% to 44.6%. That’s a total of 33,218 more votes for Lake in CD8.

Blake Masters speaking with attendees at a “Unite & Win Rally” at Arizona Financial Theatre in Phoenix, August 14, 2022. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

In the US Senate race, there were 302,098 votes for either Mark Kelly or Blake Masters. Incumbent Kelly got 140,868 (46.63%) and Masters got 161,230 (53.37%). That’s fascinating. It’s normal for the total to fall off a bit as the voter moves down the ballot. But not only did Masters get 9,078 fewer votes than Kari Lake, Kelly actually got MORE votes in CD8 than ticket-topper Katie Hobbs. We can’t know exactly how many Lake-Kelly voters there are, but it’s clear that there were several thousand, because Kelly’s 140,868 surpassed Hobbs 137,090 by 3,778 votes, even in a race that had more than 5000 fewer votes. That calls into serious question Masters’ appeal among die-hard Republican voters, who presumably supported Kari Lake.

Now let’s look at Hamadeh. In 2022, CD8 voters cast 300,108 votes for the two main candidates for Attorney General, again a small and ordinary drop-off down the ballot. Abraham Hamadeh got 167,716 votes (55.89%) and Kris Mayes got 132,392 (44.11%). This is notable. Not only did Hamadeh get the largest share of the three statewide GOP candidates in CD8 (55.89%), he actually tallied more votes than Masters. That’s remarkable for a down-ballot race.

In other words, Hamadeh running for Attorney General has already found at least 6,486 actual voters in CD8 who will pull the lever for him but not for Masters.

This is not apples to apples. For one thing, strength in a general election doesn’t bulletproof a candidate in a primary. Republican primary voters have shown strong resistance to the “electability” argument—just ask Ron DeSantis. And there are a hundred other variables that make a 2024 Congressional race different from their respective 2022 races. Maybe Kelly was that much stronger a candidate than Mayes. Maybe Republican voters liked Abe for AG but not for Congress. Or maybe Masters has dramatically improved as a candidate (he certainly has good taste in old movies, but his friends misunderestimated Sunset Boulevard!).

But these numbers scream out good news for Team Hamadeh, who was said to be busily locking down GOP endorsements from the moment Lesko tweeted her blockbuster news.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story listed the correct percentage of votes Kris Mayes received in CD8 but had the number of votes (132,392) wrong. The Globe apologizes for the error.

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