August 5, 2022Today, The Lincoln Project announced it’s adding Arizona to the list of states critical to the protection of democracy in the United States. Arizona will join Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin on our list of “democracy existential” states.

In each of these states, ‘America First’ candidates who deny that the 2020 election was fairly adjudicated are Republican nominees for key positions overseeing their states’ election processes. Should these candidates win their elections this year, they will pose a hostile threat to free and fair elections.

Kari Lake and Mark Finchem are among these candidates and represent the absolute worst the Republican Party has to offer. They are election deniers committed to the ‘Big Lie’ who will do anything to ensure that Donald Trump takes office in 2024.

“The ultra-Maga have taken over the Republican party and are committed to imposing an authoritarian government that will roll back individual rights, snuff out dissent and consolidate power in the hands of just a few,” said Reed Galen, co-founder of the Lincoln Project. “Kari Lake and Mark Finchem are committed to destroying over 200 years of liberal democracy in their pursuit of power. Americans must stand up and fight if we are to see our nation remain a democracy looked up to all over the world.”

The Lincoln Project has created the ‘Democracy Threat Index’ that rates hundreds of state and federal races across the country.  The governor races in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona are the ones that represent the greatest threat to American democracy.

“Republicans are already preparing for 2024,” said Jiff Timmer, Lincoln Project, senior advisor. “In states across the country they are training volunteers and finding ways to exploit the law so they prevent people from voting and creating a mess out of counting ballots. This year’s elections are critical to ensuring a smooth election in 2024.”

Roughly 25 total races across the country have been identified as places where The Lincoln Project will concentrate resources and attention in 2022. In addition to these 25 races, there are other races where pro-democracy candidates can defeat illiberal actors such as senate hopeful Blake Masters.

Each race was evaluated and scored on whether it plays an outsized role creating a positive, pro-democracy outcome in 2024, the importance towards controlling the state’s governor’s office and Congressional delegation, and finally, an individual candidate’s support for liberalism.

This list will fluctuate as races evolve throughout the cycle and The Lincoln Project re-evaluates the score.

“The ultra-MAGA Republicans are playing a power game,” said The Lincoln Project senior advisor, Trygve Olsen. “They aren’t concerned with governing nor implementing the rule of law. They only care about being in control and don’t care about what they have to do to obtain it.”

The Lincoln Project is a leading pro-democracy organization in the United States — dedicated to the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy.

To learn more about The Lincoln Project, go to



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