Donald Trump was imaged as the GOP king tarnished by some high-profile election losses earlier this year, but primary schools on Tuesday in states such as Arizona the Republican Shine returned the former president.
In what is shaping up to be a clean sweep in Arizona, 11 of the 12 Trump-endorsed candidates won in the primaries for US Senate, secretary of state, Congress, State House and State Senate. (Trump’s choice for governor is leading in one remaining race too close to call in the state of battle.)
All of these candidates accepted Trump’s false claims of stealing the 2020 election.
Arizona’s victories once stood in stark contrast to Georgia’s May primaries most of Trump’s major candidates lost in the swing state as they seek a governor and secretary of state who have refused to assist in Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.
While Arizona showed the strength of Trump’s influence in the GOP, it wasn’t the only primary state that showed its power on Tuesday. His preferred candidates dominated in Missouri and Kansas, as well as Michigan, where a Trump-backed challenger won one of the 10 members of Congress who voted for a second impeachment.
“Trump is still the 800-pound gorilla,” said Saul Anuzis, former Michigan Republican Party chairman and GOP consultant. “It has a significant impact.”
With only a handful of state primaries remaining, 188 Trump-endorsed candidates won primaries during his previous presidency, 14 lost, two dropped out or were disqualified before their races, 26 are awaiting their primaries and two are in races yet to be doing. called, according to his staff and statistics compiled by Ballotpedia.
Trump built on his endorsement statistics by endorsing many incumbents with little opposition, but his positive association with all races and the degree to which candidates were able to sustain his support — as well as the difference it made in certain races like OhioArizona and Michigan — he’s an outlier among former presidents.
Trump’s record also shows that, while he may be damaged by the multiple investigations targeting him, the current former president is more likely to get the GOP nominee for president if he runs again in 2024 .
But Trump’s endorsement isn’t so magical that it can lift an unelectable candidate, and Republicans aren’t clamoring for Trump to run again; Polls show he received about half of the hypothetical vote in a crowded Republican presidential primary, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a distant second carrying about half the amount of support as Trump.
Arizona Republican consultant Sean Noble said it’s undeniable that “we’re in uncharted territory with a former president who has this level of control over the party. He is more his partner than anyone else. His endorsement is obviously more important than anyone else’s.”
But, he said, Republicans are concerned that Trump could decide to re-elect his ad before the midterms, making himself a campaign issue that could turn off independent voters and momentum that is critical to winning elections in exchange states.
Democrats agree that Trump’s influence is unique, but say he and his endorsed candidates are outside the mainstream for states like Arizona and Michigan.
“The Trump-endorsed slate in Arizona is by far the largest slate we’ve seen, and that word is far too mean,” said DJ Quinlan, a Democratic consultant in Arizona, referring to the gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Senate candidate Blake Masters and candidate’s secretary of state Mark Finchem, an enthusiastic election day like a Lake.
Quinlan, however, said that Democrats face it head on and should not underestimate the energy that Republicans, especially Lake and Trump, can muster.
In another swing state that the former president lost in 2020, Michigan, Tudor Dixon, the promising candidate endorsed by Trump, won her primary on Tuesday. she began to support her claims that the election stolen. (Trump’s pick for secretary of state and attorney general is also in Michigan election deniersbut they received their party nominations at the GOP convention instead of Tuesday’s primary.)
Still, Trump’s record on Tuesday was not without some blemishes. In Washington, GOP Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, who both voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot, are leading their respective rivals with Trump’s support.
Of the 10 Republicans who were in favor of impeachment, six decided not to be in office again, and only one has made it through the main representative, California, David Valadao. As with the Newhouse and Beutler races, the Valadao race was a so-called “primary” in which all candidates from each party ran, rather than a partisan primary.
In Michigan, Representative Peter Meijer paid for his impeachment vote by losing his primary on Tuesday to Trump-endorsed John Gibbs.
“It tells you there’s a reluctance among Republican voters to support Republicans who are siding against Trump,” said Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist who is a former Trump White House official.
“I would describe what happened in Arizona and Michigan as the anti-Georgia. Last night proves that the media story out of Georgia, that Trump was losing his influence, was completely wrong,” he said. “There were local factors involved in Georgia – the quality of the candidate more than anything. The key results showed since then Trump’s unique power and his clear endorsement.
Democrats, however, see no staying power with those endorsements.
Pamela Pugh, a Democrat who serves on the Michigan State Board of Education, echoed the comments of other Democrats in swing states predicting that Trump’s involvement and the extreme nature of some of his picks will hurt Republicans in November.
“Democrats are ready for a fight,” Pugh said.