The fights in these states are, quite literally, about overturning the results of a free and fair election. But they’re also about much more than that.

“Mark Kelly is going to have to run for election now again in two years, and there’s a lot of thought that this is Kelli Ward bidding for the support of the president and Trump supporters in what will turn into a Senate run,” said Benson, the Arizona strategist. Kelly, a Democrat, just won a special election to fill the U.S. seat the late John McCain won in 2016 and had been occupied by Republican Martha McSally since early 2019.

“I think [Ward] envisions herself running for U.S. Senate. She wanted the U.S. Senate appointment last time around, following McCain’s death,” Benson added, noting that she began publicly agitating for the position within days of McCain’s initial cancer diagnosis in 2017. It’s no stretch. Ward plainly wants to be a senator: She lost GOP primaries to both McCain in 2016 and McSally two years later.