Jeanne Kentch, chairwoman of the Mohave County Republican Central Committee, said most conservative voters in the area were still loyal to Mr. Gosar. Yes, people are worried about inflation and housing shortages and impending water shortages due to climate change and uncontrolled groundwater drilling. But she said her far-right conservative views were the most important factor in winning her vote.
“He’s the one who would guarantee America first,” Ms. Kentch said.
Chuck Coughlin, a political analyst from Arizona, said challengers like Mr Morgan were not only fighting Mr Gosar, but going against the DNA of most Republican primary voters. He said the challengers’ campaigns were in danger of failing.
“These Republican primary voters believe the election was stolen,” Coughlin said. “The more extreme the candidate, the more you are rewarded for that behavior. Because it is the constituency that votes.
Yet Mr. Gosar has recently sought to distance himself from white nationalists who have become his allies and supporters. After giving a video speech at a conference hosted by a white nationalist, he blamed his staff for “miscommunication”, telling Politico the video went to the wrong group. Mr. Gosar spoke in person to the same group a year earlier.
The question of whether Republicans in Arizona choose Mr. Gosar or a more senior Republican reflects broader tensions over which faction will prevail as Republican flag bearer as the party tries to retain control of the post. governor of Arizona and unseat one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate.
Governor Doug Ducey, a conservative Republican, recently signed laws banning abortions after 15 weeks, banning surgery for transgender minors and requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship. Nonetheless, he still received the wrath of the state’s Republican Party for claiming President Biden’s narrow victory and for defending Arizona’s way of running its election.
Kari Lake, a former TV presenter and top Republican candidate to succeed Mr Ducey, promoted lies that the election was stolen. One of the Republican Senate candidates, Jim Lamon, falsely claimed to be a voter capable of voting for Mr Trump.