Trump’s politics remain firmly rooted — and deeply influential — in almost every GOP race around the country, but the measure of his personal influence has taken a hit so far this primary season.
Alabamians picked the Republican he endorsed just 10 days ago in a high-stakes Senate primary runoff decided on Tuesday, but the limits of Trump’s power were clear in Georgia, a state he lost in 2020, where GOP voters have dealt him a string of embarrassing rebukes in primaries for this year’s midterms.
The latest blows came Tuesday in a pair of US House primary runoffs.
In the 10th Congressional District
, CNN projects that Kemp-backed businessman Mike Collins, son of the late US Rep. Mac Collins, will defeat former Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones, who was endorsed by Trump. The race provided the closest thing to a clear proxy battle between Trump and Kemp — and Collins, though an archconservative aligned with the former President, is on track for a comfortable victory.
Trump pick Jake Evans, the former chairman of the State Ethics Commission, will also fall to emergency room physician Rich McCormick in the 6th Congressional District runoff, CNN projects.
Trump sat out the race in southwest Georgia’s 2nd District
— for three decades the unquestioned province of Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop, a centrist “Blue Dog” caucus member. West Point graduate and frequent Fox guest Jeremy Hunt and attorney Chris West, a former Georgia Air National Guard officer, are vying for an opportunity to unseat a suddenly endangered incumbent.
The mostly rural district is plurality Black and Hunt, who is Black, has become a favorite of national Republicans, with the National Republican Congressional Committee spotlighting him as an up-and-comer and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley joining him on the campaign trail.
Earlier this spring, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who rebuked Trump’s entreaties to help him overturn the 2020 presidential election, defeated Trump-backed primary picks.
CNN projected Tuesday that state Rep. Bee Nguyen
will take on Raffensperger in the fall.
Alabama Republicans go with establishment in Senate runoff
Trump did get a win of sorts in Alabama on Tuesday, where CNN projects Katie Britt, the former chief of staff to retiring Republican GOP Sen. Richard Shelby, will win the GOP Senate primary runoff.
She’ll defeat Rep. Mo Brooks — or “MAGA Mo,” as he’s called himself — after Britt fell narrowly short
of clinching the nomination outright on May 24. Trump initially endorsed Brooks in the primary, then dropped him in March, citing Brooks’ comments about moving past the 2020 election.
But Brooks’ struggles in the polls were also believed to have influenced Trump, who keeps close tabs on his primary endorsement win column. So it came as little surprise that the former President jumped back into the race 10 days ago
, this time to endorse Britt, a GOP establishment favorite who finished the first primary round with more than 44% of the vote.
Republicans pick nominees for key Virginia US House races
The battle lines are clearer in Virginia as Republicans in two key swing US House districts chose the candidates they hope will unseat a pair of endangered Democratic congresswomen this fall.
In the coastal 2nd Congressional District
, CNN projects that state Sen. Jen Kiggans has secured a matchup with incumbent Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria. Kiggans, who fits a more traditional Republican profile and had the backing of GOP congressional leaders in her primary, will defeat three others, including Jarome Bell, who was more closely aligned with right-wing allies of Trump, including former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar. In a tweet last year, Bell called for the execution of “all involved” in Trump’s imagined 2020 election fraud. There’s no evidence of widespread election fraud.
Virginia’s 7th District
became more Democratic-friendly after…
Read More: Primary election: Georgia Republican voters reject more of Trump’s primary picks, while a late pick prevails in Alabama