Republican candidates who missed the former President TrumpDonald Trump Biden sends 2016 climate treaty to Senate for ratification US and China ease restrictions on journalists Americans continue to spend MOREThe backrest is not packing it. In some cases, they are beginning to strike back more forcefully at their Trump-backed rivals.
In major Senate elections in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, the former president’s endorsement has proven to be far from the clearest field many expected it to be, and candidates running against Trump-backed Republicans in the primaries they go on the offensive to try to compensate their opponents. ‘ advantage.
To be sure, the former president still wields significant influence over the rank and file of the Republican Party, and his endorsement is by far the most coveted of all in Republican politics. Yet candidates with a sufficient platform of their own who are running without their support are finding ways to stand their ground against an attack from Trump allies, and sometimes flawed opponents.
“The endorsement of Trump is obviously the greatest achievement any Republican candidate can have. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. But it is not determinative of what will happen. It’s not a ‘Trump endorses, and therefore that’s the nominee,’ “said Republican strategist Doug Heye. “We still run these races for a reason.”
That dynamic is unfolding on several major battlefields heading into 2022, when Republicans must win just a handful of seats to flip the House and just one seat to control the Senate.
The Pennsylvania Senate race is increasingly marked by that kind of back and forth.
Sean Parnell, a former House candidate running with Trump’s backing for the vacant seat left by the senator. Pat toomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack Women Seek To Build On Achievements In Upcoming Election Watch Live: Republican Senators Present New Infrastructure Proposal Sasse Reprimanded By Nebraska Republican Party For Impeachment Vote MORE (R), has been hit by a scandal over allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-wife, leaving Jeff Bartos, the most prominent Republican alternative in the race, with a vacancy.
Parnell’s campaign has denied the allegations, saying they are “unequivocally false.” However, the controversy surrounding him was the first on reporters’ radars after the Bartos campaign dropped the opposition investigation that revealed temporary protective orders his wife filed against Parnell.
In Georgia, Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker has rallied the support of the Republican establishment after gaining the backing of Trump, a longtime ally. Also there, Walker has been charged with domestic abuse, including threatening the life of his ex-wife.
Gary Black, Georgia’s agriculture commissioner and another Republican Senate candidate, had long been silent about the controversy. But after several top senators, including the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Yellen warns that the US could default shortly after December 15. Democrats face restrictions on Biden’s spending bill. (R-Ky.), Supported Walker, published documents, including police reports filed about Walker, and gave a press conference calling Walker’s behavior “incorrect.”
In response, a source close to Walker pointed out to The Hill that polls showed him leading Black and noted that Walker enjoys a huge advantage in fundraising thus far.
But Black’s campaign insists that Walker’s baggage is worth discussing before the Republican primary while the party has yet to make a decision on its nominee.
“Democrats will spend … more than $ 100 million. Everyone in Georgia will know absolutely every detail, every comma and semicolon in those police reports by the time November rolls around. Now, wouldn’t it be better if the Republicans knew it all now so that we can make an informed decision? “asked the spokesman for the black campaign, Dan McLagan.
“I think it’s almost 100 percent likely that control of the Senate will go down to this seat. So are we really willing to wait until the general election for the Democrats to inform everyone about Herschel’s background? ”. added. “It has the potential to cost the Georgia Republicans everything and for the United States to hand over the United States Senate to the Democrats again.”
In addition to Pennsylvania and Georgia, Republican primaries in other key races are being fought between Trump-chosen candidates who lack the baggage of Parnell and Walker and others who insist on keeping their offers alive.
In North Carolina, another state that hosts a major Senate election, former Gov. Pat McCrory (R) holds an advantage over Rep. Ted buddTheodore (Ted) Paul Budd Former Republican Rep. Mark Walker Answering Calls About Withdrawing North Carolina Senate Candidate, Running For House Senate Ranks Behind Trump-Backed Candidates Internal Poll Shows McCrory With a double-digit lead in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary MORE (R), who was endorsed by Trump in June. And in Nevada, where Republicans hope to defeat the senator. Catherine Cortez MastoThe departure of Catherine Marie Cortez MastoSununu underscores the uncertain path of the Republican Party to obtain a majority in the Senate ‘An earthquake’: The Republican Party rises after the House of Democrats on Tuesday shelled the immigration provisions in the latest package Build Back Better MORE (D) Trump-backed Republican Adam Laxalt is still trying to defend himself against first-time candidate Sam Brown, who raised more than $ 1 million in the third quarter of 2021.
And it’s not just limited to Senate elections. In Florida’s 13th Open Congressional District, where Trump has endorsed 2020 Republican candidate Anna Paulina Luna, several other contenders remain in contention.
“Luna lost last year, and so did Trump, so what’s the incentive to surrender to Luna?” said a Republican strategist from Florida.
In that and other races, candidates who lost Trump’s backing are basing their campaigns on the bet that their own profiles and records will be enough to overcome the loyalty that much of the Republican base still feels toward the former president.
“We have a candidate in Pat McCrory who is well known to the Republican primary voters in this state. He’s a candidate who can stand up for himself, he’s not dependent on endorsement, ”said McCrory’s campaign strategist Jordan Shaw. “In a violet state, that will help decide who controls the majority in the United States Senate. We have to have candidates who can stand up for themselves. “
Still, Trump-backed contenders are enjoying the downwind of their base and insist that their backing certifies the good faith of their outsiders – a message that resonates with voters of all stripes, not just those loyal to him. Trump.
“We are grateful to be endorsed by President Donald Trump and appreciate how much his endorsement has strengthened our campaign. But Governor McCrory faces challenges in today’s environment beyond our endorsement of Trump. Voters across the country are keen to turn away thin-skinned, career politicians like Governor McCrory in 2022, just as they did in Virginia in 2021, ”said Budd’s senior campaign adviser Jonathan Felts, referring to the Republican Party’s victory in the Virginia gubernatorial race this month. former governor Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffe House Democrats planning 1,000 events to promote accomplishments Manchin has ‘many concerns’ about timing of Biden’s spending plan Stacey Abrams says she is focused on voting rights legislation when asked about a potential offer of the White House MORE (D).
The swing in the Republican primaries has shown no signs of abating. And while the primaries are still months away, leaving time for candidates to drop out or unforeseen developments to shake the field, concerns are brewing over increasingly nasty nomination contests.
Republicans are optimistic that they will be able to ride in a favorable environment for House and Senate majorities next year, particularly after McAuliffe’s defeat in Virginia and President BidenJoe Biden Idaho House of Representatives Passes Workers’ Compensation Bill Biden Submits 2016 Climate Treaty to Senate for Ratification Rubio Pledges to Delay Biden’s China and Spain Ambassador Candidates MOREapproval ratings dropping. But brutal primaries in marquee contests could hurt the final Republican candidate and give Democrats a head start in the races.
“I think anyone who is looking at these things objectively would be crazy to say otherwise,” a Republican strategist told The Hill when asked about the concerns. “You’re already seeing some signs of that … that there seems to be an element of the party that is more focused on beating Republicans than Democrats.”
Still, the source continued, letting the primaries move forward is important, saying a flawed candidate could still fall short even in the most favorable environments.
“I think there are some Republican thinkers who think, ‘Well, it doesn’t matter how disgusting these primaries are, it doesn’t matter who emerges as the nominee, because anyone can win,'” the strategist said. “I just don’t think that’s the case.”
Max Greenwood contributed.