Midterm Roundup: Trump-Backed Candidates Sweep Early August Primaries

Trump-backed candidates swept Tuesday’s primaries in Arizona, Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Kansas, and Tennessee.

State of Play – August 6

Trump-Backed Candidates Sweep Statewide Races

Donald Trump’s picks emerged victorious in nearly every statewide Republican primary on Tuesday.

Arizona Senate: First-time candidate Blake Masters won the G.O.P. primary for Senate with a hefty plurality to face well-funded Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

Arizona Governor: TV news anchor and one-time Barack Obama supporter Kari Lake narrowly defeated Pence-backed Karrin Taylor Robson thanks to late-reporting ballots.

While Lake believes (without evidence) that the late-reporting ballots that tipped Arizona to Joe Biden in 2020 are evidence of fraud, she has no such qualms when those same types of ballots benefit her.

Michigan Governor: Conservative media personality Tudor Dixon handily won the right to take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Missouri Senate: State attorney general Eric Schmitt won with a solid plurality and should easily hold the seat in November.

Trump sat on the fence in this race, endorsing only “ERIC” without making a distinction between Schmitt and alleged domestic abuser Eric Greitens, the former governor who resigned in disgrace in 2018.

Second Impeachment-Supporting Republican Loses Primary

Rep. Peter Meijer, the first freshman Congressman in U.S. history to vote to impeach a president of his own party, narrowly lost renomination to John Gibbs, his Trump-backed primary challenger.

Democrats meddled in the primary on Gibbs’ behalf as they believed he was the weaker candidate. Gibbs was aided by a $435,000 ad buy from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and will now be the decided underdog in this Democratic-leaning district.

New England Primaries Kick Off Tuesday

New England states typically hold later primaries than the rest of the country. Vermont and Connecticut head to the polls on Tuesday, while Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire won’t select their nominees until September, less than two months before election day.

The elections for Governor of Connecticut and Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District should be competitive in November. 2018 G.O.P. nominee Bob Stefanowski is the heavy favorite to take on Gov. Ned Lamont and former state senator George Logan is likely to take on Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes.

The marquee race in New England is the Democratic primary for Vermont’s lone House seat. Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and state Sen. Becca Balint are vying to be the first woman elected to Congress from Vermont. Incumbent Rep. Peter Welch is retiring to run for Senate, and the seat should remain safely Democratic.

G.O.P. Primary for Governor of Wisconsin Latest Trump v. Pence Proxy Battle

The shadowboxing between Donald Trump and Mike Pence comes to the Badger State after the former ticket mates endorsed opposing candidates in gubernatorial primaries in Georgia and Arizona.

Trump endorsed failed 2004 Senate candidate Tim Michels, while Pence is backing former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in the race to take on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. The election is Tuesday, August 9.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022

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