Donald Trump achieved a significant victory on Tuesday in South Carolina, where his preferred candidate, Tom Rice, the five-term Rep. Tom Rice, the first Republican to be removed from office, was easily ousted after voting last year to accuse the former president. But another high-profile GOP target of Trump in the state, Rep Nancy Mace, has managed to hold back a challenger.
Meanwhile, in Nevada, Trump’s choice, Adam Laxalt, won his primary U.S. Senate and defeated a populist candidate who is likely to be more representative of the Trump base.
Pick up of the latest round of primary elections:
Divided decision in South Carolina
Rice and Mace have been the subject of Trump’s anger since a crowd of his supporters stormed the US Capitol to stop certifying President Joe Biden’s victory.
Their transgressions? Mace declared on national television that Trump’s “entire legacy” was obliterated by the attack, while Rice became an apostate because he joined a small group of Republicans who joined the Democrats in favor of Trump’s second ouster. voted.
“He threw an outburst of rage that culminated in the sacking of the United States capital,” Rice told NBC News on Monday. “This is a direct attack on the Constitution, and he must be held accountable.”
Voters ultimately delivered different judgments about the duo, reflecting a rift within the GOP over how to move forward from the Trump era. Rice’s largely rural district is representative of Trump’s America, where the crossing of the former president entails a high cost. Even as Trump spoke out against both lawmakers, he chose to hold a rally in Rice’s district earlier this year.
This is because Mace’s district, which centers on Charleston, is full of the type of moderate suburban voters who have fled the GOP under Trump. It’s one of the few districts in an overall red state where Democrats were even moderately competitive in congressional racing.
The results show that the Trump factor cannot be underestimated in solid Republican territory, a potential warning sign for other Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who also voted to prosecute Trump and helped lead the House panel that the Jan. 6 attack. She faces a competitive by-election in August in the face of a Trump-backed challenger.
Another notable factor in the Mace contest: it came down to a proxy battle between Trump, who is considering a 2024 White House campaign, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who is also considering an attempt.
Trump has former state rep. Katie Arrington supported in the race, while Haley, a former South Carolina governor, effectively challenged Trump by campaigning with Mace.
Trump, McConnell joins Laxalt in Nevada
Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell do not agree on much. One rare exception is Laxalt, who won Nevada’s Republican Senate primary.
The two Republican leaders have not stood in line since December 2020, when McConnell acknowledged that Biden had defeated Trump. But they both endorsed Laxalt, who defeated retired Army captain Sam Brown, a West Point graduate and Purple Heart receiver who had waged an unexpectedly strong campaign as a Conservative outsider.
The mutual support, which has brought together the Trump and establishment wings of the party, demonstrates the intense focus that Republican has placed around the seat held by the first-term Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, considered one of the most vulnerable senators, to turn around.
Texas home seat flip
A once-solid Democratic district in South Texas will now be represented by a Republican after Mayra Flores won a special primary election for the term of the former Democratic Rep. To complete Filemon Vela, who resigned this year to become a lobbyist.
Flores, an IDP organizer who is the daughter of migrant workers, will only occupy the seat for a few months before the district is re-signed to be more favorable to Democrats. But her victory in the strong Spanish Rio Grande Valley is an ominous sign for the Democrats.
Not only are they losing ground in a region they have long dominated, but Flores’ success as a candidate also demonstrates that Republicans are making inroads with Spanish voters.
Her victory also has implications for Democrats’ ambitions in Congress, denying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an opportunity to add her slim two-vote margin to pass legislation.
From South Carolina to the White House?
Also in South Carolina, Republican Tim Scott on Tuesday achieved an easy and undisputed primary victory for what he says will be his last term in the Senate. But another state is also on his mind – Iowa’s presidential test site.
It has become a matter of faith that there are no “accidental” trips to Iowa by ambitious politicians. And Scott, the Senate’s only Black Republican, brought several visits, including one last week.
He definitely has the money to compete. While campaigning for Senate re-election, Scott has amassed a whopping $ 42 million. That is more than double the average cost of $ 15.7 million of a winning campaign in the Senate in the 2018 mid-term. It is also more than enough to launch a Republican presidential campaign in 2024.
Even before his recent appearance at an Iowa Republican Party event, Scott raised his profile. He spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2020 and delivered the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s first joint congressional speech. He also visited New Hampshire, another early-state presidential state, and delivered a speech at the Reagan Presidential Library, another regular stop for Republicans watching the White House.
A LePage comeback?
Governor’s races are often overlooked. But the general election game in Maine is one of a handful of governor’s races that are likely to be competitive this year, along with Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona.
Tuesday’s gubernatorial election was a mere formality, as the races were unopposed. But they locked in what promises to be a veil of a general election between two longtime enemies.
Democrat incumbent Janet Mills is seeking a second term. She is a former district attorney, state legislator and Maine attorney general who regularly clashed with Republican Paul LePage when he was governor. Now LePage, who calls himself “Trump before Trump”, is challenging her.
The competition will test the attractiveness of Trump candidates in New England. The Democratic Governors’ Association has already booked $ 5 million in TV advertising time.
That Mills and LePage even compete against each other is somewhat of a surprise.
LePage moved to Florida and renounced politics when he left office in 2019 following two heated terms that often drew national attention for his improper remarks.
But the draw of elected office was apparently too great. By 2020, he was back in Maine and promised to challenge his old arch-enemy.