Arizona has a Democratic Governor, Katie Hobbs, who beat election denier Kari Lake, by a small margin. Each house of the legislature has a small Republican majority, by one vote only. Yet the Republicans have decided to copy the zany extremist initiatives of Ron DeSantis of Florida. Some Republicans think it’s a risky bet.

From criminalizing drag shows to legalizing guns on college campuses, Republican lawmakers at the Arizona Capitol are proceeding like it’s a normal year for them, pushing forward with proposals that appeal to the furthest-right voters in the state.

They’re advancing election bills based on conspiracy theories and pushing back at critics, even silencing speakers for using the phrase “conspiracy theory.” Some proposed laws that were rejected in past years due to Republican opposition have made it further this year, even as they have less chance of becoming law.

Republicans expect Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs to veto what they believe are good bills, hoping their commitment to far-right conservative values will help them in next year’s election.

It’s a risky strategy if they want to avoid seeing the Legislature flip to Democrats next year, according to some observers on both sides of the aisle.

“The party right now is tone-deaf,” said former Sen. Paul Boyer, a Republican from Glendale who served in the Legislature for five terms but didn’t run for reelection last year after some constituents and GOP peers pilloried him for failing to embrace election denialism. “They haven’t figured out that if they keep this up, we’re going to get massacred.”