The venture capitalist turned upstart Senate candidate Blake Masters to an easy win in Tuesday’s Arizona Republican primary, delivering another victory for candidates endorsed by the former President. President Donald Trump and tech billionaire Peter Thiel.
Masters, a 35-year-old Bitcoin hawk with no political experience, supported Trump late in the game to win coming from behind, after failed for months to attract conservatives the state rotated with a steady stream of progressives and outdated sometimes right-wing rhetoric regarding anti-immigrant and racist tropes.
In the end, the Masters overtook the runner-up, Arizona’s energy mogul Jim Lamon. Masters will now face incumbent Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in the general election.
For months, the Arizona race did not show a clear leader, but after escalate his voter denialism To gain Trump’s endorsement in June, the Masters surged. At the first moment, he was resting on a two-digit lead.
By contrast, J.D. Vance – another Trump-Thiel pick – claimed less than one in three Republicans in Ohio in May. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Senate candidate who received Thiel’s money and dubious endorsement from Trump, also won his GOP Senate nomination Tuesday night, despite Trump’s claim less than obvious about who he actually endorsed in the race.
Masters, who grew up in Arizona, recently returned to the state after years in the Bay Area, where he worked under Thiel as CEO of Thiel Capital. He enters the race to rank relatively low on name recognition, especially compared to the Arizona Attorney General making Trump an enemy of Mark Brnovich. But Masters adopted a native advertising approach to reaching the masses, and quickly began amassing media earnings as a polarizing provocateur.
However, his success has surprised many people. At first, Masters’ outsider platform appeared like an odd fit for Arizonans. He relies heavily on abstractions Political theory “new right”, anti-immigrant fear of bait, long form podcast interviewand relevant policy proposals, largely untested (such as a “strategic reserve” of Bitcoin)—An odd match for the typical swing state voter profile.
However, thanks in large part to Trump, the tech investor was able to lock in enough votes to make up for it, or possibly win, his fiercest competition: Arizona’s sizable population is composed of moderates and suburban retirees.
While Masters — a thirtieth Bitcoin millionaire and Silicon Valley implanter who has been vilified throughout his campaign by allegations of racist, hypocritical company and technocracy cronyismand cover up anti-signalism—It seems unlikely to be a flag bearer for that key demographic, those voters will only become more important as the general election approaches. There, the Masters must overcome a Democratic moderate popular in Kelly, an effort that could force Masters to downplay his rhetoric.
He’ll have to balance that with the Trump brand if he wants to energize the establishment, because if fundraising is any measure of enthusiasm, the Masters has a steep hill to climb. Almost all of his financial strength comes from a group completely separate from his campaign—a super PAC largely fueled by Thiel’s massive $15 million investment. The majority of super PAC’s other high-value contributions come from tech and finance executives, most of whom have some connection to the crypto world.
But Arizonans simply don’t open their pockets. According to FEC data, exactly four of the more than 50 Super PAC sponsors are from Arizona. And of his campaign’s $5 million, more than 90% come from out-of-state, with Californians accounting for about one in every five dollars. In fact, Masters has given more money to his campaign than Arizona citizens have — his $680,000 personal loan is about $200,000 more than his in-state contributions total. la. His latest loan, in July – more than 4 months after he announced his resignation from Thiel’s firm – still credits his employer as Thiel Capital.
But Masters has received loads of free airtime from another powerful ally – the most influential media figure in conservative politics, Fox News entertainer Tucker Carlson. The late-night host quickly recognized a fellow traveler on the Masters’ nationalist agenda, suggesting comprehensive support and numerous appearances on his show, most view displayed in cable news history. (By contrast, Brnovich received support from Carlson’s late-night colleague Sean Hannity.)
But the same national rhetoric that drew the Carlson crowd—reverberate with the false conspiracy theory “The Great Alternative” adopted by white supremacists — attracted more controversial supporters, including Andrew Anglin, the founder neo-Nazi publications The Daily Stormer.
Anglin gave his Masters “Strong Endorsement” in June, following a viral incident at a campaign event where Masters appeared to grab a 73-year-old protester by the neck and push him out of the room. Last month, Master waste Anglin’s backing, saying he had “never” heard of Anglin and dismissed news reports of endorsements as part of an effort to “smear anyone who believes in border-security commons world as a kind of ‘Nazi’.”
Ultimately, Masters’ media savvy outweighed the substantial support that top immigration officials threw behind his top competitor, Lamon, to a standing ovation. made up of former Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, along with former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and a former Sheriff. of the Border Patrol.
Masters received endorsements from television officials such as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), and Senators Josh Hawley (R). -MO).
But despite stating positions on immigration, guns, abortion and same-sex marriage That poll is good in addition to the main poll, tech entrepreneurs have perform “guaranteeed” that he would beat Kelly, a former Navy pilot and astronaut, by “five points.”
“’Oh, I’m an astronaut. Have friends to listen Am I an astronaut? ” report of Mother Jones. “’You know, when I was on the space station and looked at that big blue ball, I realized that we’re all in it together.” And it was like, “Shut up, Mark .”
But Masters will also have to get over his own baseless theory that Democrats are using immigration policy to stack up on the election deck.
“Obviously the Democrats, they hope to just change the demographics of our country,” he speak in an April podcast interview. “They hope to import a whole new constituency. Then they call you racist and bigoted.”