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- According to unofficial election results, Katie Hobbs beat Kari Lake to become Arizona’s next governor and Hobbs smaller Instagram follower count is not proof the election was illegitimate.
Arizona Secretary State Katie Hobbs narrowly prevailed in her bid to become the state’s governor, according to unofficial election results, with 50.3% of the vote.
But a recent Instagram post suggests the election is illegitimate, and points to the number of Instagram followers Hobbs and her Republican opponent Kari Lake have.
"Katie Hobbs had ~2.8 percent of Kari Lake’s Instagram following… Katie Hobbs is AZ’s secretary of state and oversees elections… but we’re not allowed to question anything?" the video post says.
"How are we supposed to believe this!?" reads text above an image in the post of an NBC News broadcast projecting Hobbs as the winner. "Just look at their socials!!!"
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
But as we noted in a fact-check of a similar claim, casting doubt on Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s U.S. Senate win over Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, a large social media following doesn’t ensure an election win.
Syracuse University professor Jennifer Stromer-Galley, who studies political social media messaging, told NPR in August that although social media helps amplify a candidate's message, it doesn’t automatically translate to election wins. They’re "talking primarily to supporters," Stromer-Galley said, but that could include people out of state who won’t vote in that candidate’s election.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the Arizona gubernatorial election, least of all because Hobbs has fewer Instagram followers than Lake.
We rate that claim Pants on Fire!
Instagram post, Nov. 16, 2022
PolitiFact, Large social media followings don’t ensure election wins, Nov. 10, 2022
Mehmet Oz Instagram account, visited Nov. 10, 2022
John Fetterman Instagram account, visited Nov. 10, 2022
Beto O’Rourke Instagram account, visited Nov. 10, 2022
Greg Abbott Instagram account, visited Nov. 10, 2022
Brian Kemp Instagram account, visited Nov. 10, 2022
Stacey Abrams Instagram account, visited Nov. 10, 2022
NPR, For politicians, does online popularity translate into votes?, Aug. 28, 2022
Katie Hobbs Instagram account, visited Nov. 17, 2022
Kari Lake Instagram account, visited Nov. 17, 2022
Arizona secretary of state, 2020 general election unofficial results, visited Nov. 17, 2022
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