WASHINGTON, D.C. – A number of Republican candidates in Tuesday’s U.S. midterm primary elections proved to be successful after having been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, cementing the fact that while Trump may no longer be in the White House, his influence upon the GOP is still extraordinarily strong.
In Arizona, state Representative Mark Finchem – a strong Trump supporter who has parroted his claims that the 2020 election was “rigged” – captured the Republican nomination for Secretary of State, going on to face the Democratic nominee at the November midterm election. Meanwhile former tech executive Blake Masters won the GOP nomination for the Senate seat in Arizona currently held by Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, who is reportedly facing an uphill battle for reelection.
Former news reporter Kari Lake, Trump’s pick in Arizona’s GOP gubernatorial primary, claimed victory on Wednesday and will now move on against Democratic nominee Katie Hobbs.
Conservative commentator Tudor Dixon, another Trump backer, won the Republican nomination for governor, and will be facing off against incumbent Gretchen Whitmer in November.
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Another contender for a governorship on the GOP ticket, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt – who was endorsed by Trump – sailed to victory in his primary, and will face another Democratic incumbent, Laura Kelly, in November, in what is expected to be a tight race.
Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan – one of the few Republicans who had voted to impeach Trump in the wake of the January 6 attack upon the U.S. Capitol Building – lost his party’s nomination to hold onto his seat against fellow GOP member and far-right leaning John Gibbs, also backed by Trump.
Washington Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, another Republican who had voted to impeach Trump following January 6, was also facing off against an opponent hand-picked by the former President; the results of that race have yet to be determined.
Currently – based on the low approval ratings of current President Joe Biden – Republicans are expected to wrest control of the House of Representatives from Democrats in November’s elections, in addition to perhaps the Senate as well. Were this to happen, it would create perhaps an insurmountable roadblock for the Biden’s agenda for the remainder of his term, experts say, in addition to numerous obstructive GOP-backed Congressional hearings.
But regardless, Trump has proven that he holds immense sway over GOP voters, with the majority of the over 200 candidates he has endorsed proving successful in their respective primary races, according to Republican strategist Alex Conant.
“Trump remains really popular with Republican primary voters. I don’t think you can underestimate how he has remade the party in his image,” he said. “Republicans who run against Trump tend to get trampled.”