Former US President Donald Trump’s political influence on Republican Party politics, 16 months after leaving office, is being tested again on Tuesday as his favorite candidate faces a face-off with Republican opponents in party primaries in key states.
Five states have Republican and Democratic primaries, but political analysts will focus specifically on Trump’s fate in two states – Pennsylvania in the eastern US, which Trump lost in his 2020 re-election bid after winning in 2016, and The mid-Atlantic state of North Carolina, which Trump won in 2016 and two years earlier.
Trump has been split in two high-profile contests over the past two weeks, winning voter approval this year for many of his supported candidates for lower-level offices.
Writer JD Vance, his choice for the Republican Senate nomination in the midwestern state of Ohio, won. But his choice for the Nebraska gubernatorial nomination, business executive Charles Herbster, lost.
In a major race in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Trump has endorsed celebrity television doctor Mehmet Oz as the party’s Senate nominee for the seat left by Republican Senator Pat Tomei’s impending retirement in November’s election.
Oz, who holds dual Turkish and US citizenship, will be the first Muslim US senator. But he faces stiff competition from David McCormick, a former hedge fund executive and Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs during the administration of former President George W. Bush, as well as Kathy Barnett, a conservative commentator and author. who have increased the turnout. Competition.
Three candidates are believed to be heading towards voting.
Club for Growth, a national anti-tax group that has often aligned with the likes of Trump, pumped $2 million into a television ad campaign for Barnett, giving her an instant boost among Republican voters.
But Trump took notice over the weekend, saying he would “never win” a general election matchup against a potential Democratic nominee, Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who calls himself “just a friend” while campaigning in his favorite clothing. Huh. – Shorts and a hoodie.
At 6 feet, 8 inches tall, he stands out among any crowd. Fetterman halted his campaign several days ago when he suffered a stroke, but says he experienced no cognitive impairment and is recovering.
Trump attacks Barnett, arguing that Oz is “the only one” who can defeat Fetterman.
Trump has also backed Republican state senator Doug Mastriano for governor in a crowded field of Republican candidates. Maastriano, who has strongly supported Trump’s false claims that vote fraud cost him another four-year term in the White House, was already leading the vote for the gubernatorial contest when Trump backed him.
But some Republican analysts have expressed fears that Maastriano’s views on the 2020 Trump defeat could prove too extreme in November’s campaign against the Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
But Trump was bemused by such fears, endorsing Maastriano in a statement saying, “There is no one in Pennsylvania who has done, or fought harder, for election integrity than state Senator Doug Maastriano.” He has exposed the deceit, corruption and outright theft of the 2020 presidential election, and will do something about it.
In North Carolina, Trump endorsed Congressman Ted Budd as the Republican Senate nominee to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Senator Richard Burr nearly a year ago. Bud, according to polling, is comfortably ahead of the contest and is likely to face Democrat Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, in November.
Trump has also backed a conservative firebrand supporter of his, Congressman Madison Cawthorne, for reelection to a seat in the House of Representatives from the western North Carolina district. Cawthorne is facing seven Republican opponents who have attacked her 17-month term.
Cawthorne has drawn the ire of top Republican congressional officials and has been implicated in a string of charges, such as carrying a loaded gun into an airport check-in line, driving without a valid driver’s license and Alleging without proof that he was invited. Drug-associated sex orgasm in Washington.
In still another state, the sparsely populated Idaho in the western part of the country, Trump has endorsed Republican Lieutenant Governor Janice McGatchin in a gubernatorial primary against Republican Governor Brad Little.
McGatchin is perhaps best known for enacting his own policy agenda on Little’s absence from the state – such as banning mask mandates in schools and public buildings during the height of the coronavirus pandemic – only to be followed by his orders on his return. But it was reversed. She also supports Trump’s claim of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.