A Look at the Performance of Candidates Trump Endorsed

Sept. 6, 2022, 1:00 p.m. ETSept. 6, 2022, 1:00 p.m. ET

Maggie Astor and Azi Paybarah

Former President Donald J. Trump and Sarah Palin at a rally in Anchorage in July. She lost a special House election to Mary Peltola, a Democrat.

As the midterm primary season nears an end, candidates endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump have continued to rack up primary wins, but with a handful of prominent losses.

Of the more than 200 Republicans Mr. Trump has backed this year, many ran unopposed or faced little-known opponents. He has also waited to make some endorsements until a front-runner emerges, as with his last-minute endorsement of Tudor Dixon for governor of Michigan.

Several of his candidates were defeated in early primaries, including in Georgia and North Carolina; more recently, he had a startling loss in a special election in Alaska. But for candidates like J.D. Vance in Ohio and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump’s support was crucial to securing victory. His choices also won in large numbers in two swing states, Arizona and Michigan.

Here is a look at Mr. Trump’s endorsement record.

In Wyoming, Representative Liz Cheney, by far the most prominent of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, fell to her Trump-endorsed challenger Harriet Hageman in a landslide of more than 35 percentage points.

Another of the 10, Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan, lost his primary to Mr. Trump’s preferred candidate, John Gibbs.

And in Washington State, Joe Kent defeated a third pro-impeachment Republican, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler.

In one exception to the trend, Representative Dan Newhouse, who also supported Mr. Trump’s impeachment, advanced over his Trump-endorsed opponent, Loren Culp, thanks largely to Washington State’s open primary system.

A former local television news host, Kari Lake, won the Republican primary for governor with Mr. Trump’s endorsement, narrowly defeating Karrin Taylor Robson, the choice of establishment Republicans. Ms. Lake has forcefully promoted Mr. Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Blake Masters, a venture capitalist who has pushed a version of the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, won his Senate primary and will challenge Senator Mark Kelly, a vulnerable Democrat, in November.

State Representative Mark Finchem, who is affiliated with the far-right Oath Keepers militia group and said before the primary that he would not concede if he lost, won the Republican nomination for secretary of state, a position in which he would oversee Arizona elections.

With the primaries winding down, both parties are starting to shift their focus to the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Battleground Pennsylvania: Few states feature as many high-stakes, competitive races as Pennsylvania, which has emerged as the nation’s center of political gravity.
  • The Dobbs Decision’s Effect: Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the number of women signing up to vote has surged in some states and the once-clear signs of a Republican advantage are hard to see.
  • How a G.O.P. Haul Vanished: Last year, the campaign arm of Senate Republicans was smashing fund-raising records. Now, most of the money is gone.
  • Digital Pivot: At least 10 G.O.P. candidates in competitive races have updated their websites to minimize their ties to former President Donald J. Trump or to adjust their stances on abortion.

And David Farnsworth won a State Senate primary against Rusty Bowers, the Arizona House speaker who drew Trump supporters’ fury for resisting efforts to overturn the 2020 election and for testifying before the Jan. 6 congressional committee.

Sarah Palin, the Trump-aligned former governor and vice-presidential nominee, lost a special House election to Mary Peltola, a Democrat — a major upset in a state as Republican as Alaska, though Ms. Palin will have a second chance in November.

How Trump’s Endorsements Elevate Election Lies and Inflate His Political Power

The former president’s endorsements have been focused more on personal politics than on unseating Democrats.

Mr. Trump’s preferred candidate, Tim Michels, won the Republican primary for governor, defeating former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

But Robin Vos, the powerful speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, fended off a challenge — barely — from Adam Steen, a Trump endorsee who had called for eliminating most absentee and early voting in the state and for decertifying the 2020 election.

Gov. Brian Kemp easily defeated former Senator David Perdue, Mr. Trump’s handpicked candidate, in the Republican primary for governor. Mr. Kemp became a Trump target after he refused to overturn the president’s loss in the state in 2020. He will face Stacey Abrams, the Democrat he narrowly defeated four years ago.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who refused Mr. Trump’s demand to “find” additional votes after his 2020 loss, also defeated a Trump-endorsed challenger, Representative Jody Hice.

In a primary runoff for an open seat in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, Rich McCormick, a physician and retired Marine, defeated the Trump-backed candidate Jake Evans, the former chairman of the state’s ethics commission and the son of a Trump administration ambassador.

The former professional football star Herschel Walker, who was endorsed by Mr. Trump, dominated a Senate primary and will face Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, in the general election.

After a close race that prompted a recount, Mehmet Oz, Mr. Trump’s choice, won a Senate primary, narrowly defeating David McCormick.

Doug Mastriano, a state senator and retired Army colonel who has promoted false claims about the 2020 election and attended the protest leading up to the Capitol riot, won the Republican nomination for governor. Mr. Trump had endorsed him just a few days before the primary.

Representative Ted Budd won the Republican nomination for Senate, and Bo Hines, a 26-year-old political novice who enthralled Mr. Trump, was catapulted to victory in his primary for a House seat outside Raleigh.

But Representative Madison Cawthorn crumbled under the weight of repeated scandals and blunders. He was ousted in his primary, a rejection of a Trump-endorsed candidate. Voters chose Chuck Edwards, a state senator.

Representative Tom Rice, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump, was ousted by his Trump-backed challenger, State Representative Russell Fry, in the Seventh Congressional District.

But Representative Nancy Mace defeated her Trump-endorsed opponent, the former state lawmaker Katie Arrington, in the First Congressional District. Ms. Mace had said that Mr. Trump bore responsibility for the Jan. 6 attack but did not vote to impeach him.

Adam Laxalt won a primary to face Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats this fall. Mr. Laxalt, a former attorney general, was endorsed by Mr. Trump and had helped lead his efforts to overturn the presidential election results in Nevada.

Joseph Lombardo, the Las Vegas sheriff, won the Republican nomination for governor and will face the incumbent, Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat.

Dan Cox, a first-term state legislator who embraced Mr. Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, handily defeated Kelly Schulz — a protégé of Gov. Larry Hogan, a leader of the Republican Party’s anti-Trump wing — in the party’s primary for governor in Maryland. Mr. Cox benefited from more than $1 million in advertising from the Democratic Governors Association, which helped his primary campaign in hopes that he would be easier to defeat in the general election.

State Senator Darren Bailey, who received a last-minute endorsement from Mr. Trump, won the Republican primary for governor in Illinois after similar spending by Democrats, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Also in Illinois, Representative Mary Miller, endorsed by Mr. Trump months ago, won her House primary against fellow Representative Rodney Davis after redistricting put them in the same district.

The Senate candidate J.D. Vance defeated a field of well-funded rivals, nearly all of whom pitched themselves as Trump-like Republicans. Mr. Vance, an author and venture capitalist, had transformed himself from a self-described “never-Trump guy” in 2016 to a Trump-supported “America First” candidate in 2022.

Max Miller, a former Trump aide who denied assault allegations from an ex-girlfriend and was later endorsed by Mr. Trump, won his House primary.

Mr. Trump also endorsed Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a lawyer who had been a surrogate for his presidential campaign. She won a seven-way primary for a congressional seat.

Gov. Brad Little overcame Mr. Trump’s endorsement of the state’s lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, who was challenging him in the Republican primary.

Representative Alex Mooney prevailed over Representative David McKinley in a newly drawn congressional district. Mr. Trump’s backing was seen as the decisive factor.

Alyce McFadden contributed research.

Source: nytimes.com

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