Donald Trump celebrated Tuesday evening the fact that all of the candidates he endorsed, including the Democrats he gave cheeky backing to, won their primary elections.
‘Looks like a fantastic evening of ALL WINS – Great Candidates!!!’ Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Later he added in another post on the alternative social media site: ’26 and 0 tonight, turning numerous tight races into big and easy wins. Overall for last 4 years, 98.4% on Endorsements!’
His tongue-in-cheek Truth Social post alluded to his previously sarcastic backing of some Democrats on the ballot, but also included real wins, including embattled Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz won his primary.
Trump has issued a flurry of endorsements for candidates in the 2022 midterm season, but the Tuesday election was the first time the former president threw his weight, in jest albeit, behind Democratic candidates.
Former President Donald Trump (pictured August 5) celebrated ‘ALL WINS’ from candidates he endorsed in Tuesday’s primary races in a tongue-in-cheek statement last night
‘Looks like a fantastic evening of ALL WINS – Great Candidates!!!’ Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform (pictured), later adding: ’26 and 0 tonight, turning numerous tight races into big and easy wins. Overall for last 4 years, 98.4% on Endorsements!’
One of the Democrats who saw Trump’s sarcastic backing was Dan Goldman, who narrowly won his New York primary against a bevy of more progressive rivals.
‘It is my great honor to Strongly Endorse him,’ Trump wrote on Truth Social last week. ‘I do this not because of the fact that he headed up the Impeachment Committee and lost, but because he was honorable, fair, and highly intelligent.’
Goldman, an attorney, worked with Democrats on Trump’s first impeachment trial.
A serious endorsement was levied to Trump favorite Matt Gaetz, who defeated former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo in his Florida Panhandle district in a primary on Tuesday evening.
Gaetz won despite being under federal investigation in a sex trafficking case. He is heavily favored to win a fourth term come November. Florida is not expected to be among the most competitive states this fall given its rightward shift.
Investigators are probing whether Gaetz paid a 17-year-old girl for sex. He has not been charged and denies wrongdoing, and on Tuesday beat his closest rival by more than 40 percentage points.
The former president called him ‘a relentless Fighter for the incredible people of Florida’s 1st Congressional District!’
Gaetz also faced attack ads from Lombardo claiming he could be the Trump world ‘informant’ that led to the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month. Donald Trump Jr. immediately denounced this claim during a stump speech in Florida for Gaetz on Monday evening.
Other Trump endorsees who swept to victory on Tuesday night included Marco Rubio, Gus Bilirakis, Neal Dunn, Anna Paulina Luna, Kat Cammack and John Rutherford. Defense contractor Cory Mills – who has questioned the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s election win in 2020 – also won.
Trump has so far only endorsed a handful of candidates in the 2022 midterm season, including – sarcastically – Democrat candidate Dan Goldman (pictured on Tuesday night with his family), who narrowly won his New York primary against a bevy of more progressive rivals
Trump favorite Matt Gaetz (pictured earlier this year) defeated former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo in his Florida Panhandle district in a primary on Tuesday evening. Gaetz won despite being under federal investigation in a sex trafficking case
Trump set out to demonstrate his dominance of the GOP this primary season, and he succeeded – to a point.
His approval helped set the party’s Senate field and was pivotal in a number of hotly contested primaries. He claimed his biggest prize last week, when his chosen candidate beat Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming’s Republican primary.
On Tuesday, Trump’s chosen candidate, Air Force veteran and conservative activist Anna Luna, won her primary in an open GOP-leaning seat on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
On Tuesday, Trump’s chosen candidate, Air Force veteran and conservative activist Anna Luna, won her primary in an open GOP-leaning seat on Florida’s Gulf Coast
But Trump had some huge humiliations – especially when he tried to intervene in governor’s races in Idaho, Nebraska and especially Georgia, where Trump failed to oust Gov. Brian Kemp for refusing to overturn the 2020 election in his state and award it to Trump.
Even more significantly, Trump elevated candidates who may not be able to win competitive races – or may even pose a threat to democracy itself.
Of the 23 non-incumbent candidates Trump has endorsed in House GOP primary races, 18 have been victorious so far, with one more race still outstanding.
In the Senate, nine of the 11 Trump endorsements of non-incumbents have been successful. Just the Alaska race with Kelly Tshibaka against Senator Lisa Murkowski remains in the new ranked-choice voting system, which sees the top four candidates in the primary advance to the general election.
Last week, the GOP’s Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, warned that his party may not win a Senate majority due to ‘candidate quality’ among its nominees.
They include Trump-backed candidates struggling in swing states, like Herschel Walker in Georgia, JD Vance in Ohio and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.
Others, like the GOP’s nominees for Pennsylvania governor, Doug Mastriano, and Arizona governor, Kari Lake, have denied that Trump lost the 2020 election, raising questions about whether they’d certify the actual winners of future elections if they take over their statehouses.
Trump does not always have to intercede for extreme candidates who have mimicked his style to rise in Republican primaries.
On Tuesday, Laura Loomer, a conservative provocateur who’s been banned from several social media websites for posting anti-Muslim remarks, surprised many with a strong – albeit unsuccessful – showing in a primary challenge to 73-year-old Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.
Still, Trump’s effect on the GOP became immeasurable this primary season.
Trump’s celebratory posts over the primary results came as…
- New York Democratic official Pat Ryan narrowly beat Republican Marc Molinaro;
- Ryan ran his campaign largely on the rollback of abortion rights, and defeated Molinaro 51.3% to 48.7%, with 99% of the vote counted;
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis learned who his challenger will be this fall. Charlie Crist won his state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary;
- DeSantis, who views his November reelection as a potential springboard into the 2024 presidential contest, was uncontested in his primary;
- Fringe GOP candidates Cory Mills and Anna Paulina Luna are set to join other Republicans in congress after winning their respective Florida primaries;
- Back in New York, two Democrat incumbents were ousted from the U.S. House after redistricting shuffled congressional districts;
- Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a 15-term incumbent who chairs a powerful House committee, lost to longtime colleague Rep. Jerry Nadler;
- Rep. Mondaire Jones, a first-term progressive who was one of the first openly gay Black members of Congress, was defeated by Goldman.
In a major upset victory for President Joe Biden’s party, New York Democratic official Pat Ryan narrowly beat Republican Marc Molinaro in a race that remained in a dead heat nearly until midnight on Wednesday.
Multiple outlets including the New York Times and NBC News called the race for Ryan with more than 95 percent of the votes counted – and less than 3,000 votes between the two candidates.
The Democratic executive of Ulster County, Pat Ryan, has largely focused his campaign on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade an the subsequent rollback of abortion rights seen across the country
Ryan will now serve the remainder of former Democrat Rep. Antonio Delgado’s term, until the end of the year. Delgado left the House of Representatives to serve as New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s lieutenant.
The Ulster County Executive had a wide lead immediately after polls closed, but Dutchess County Executive Molinaro significantly narrowed the gap as mail-in and early ballots – usually majority Democrat – were overtaken by Election Day voters who primarily skew Republican.
The special election for New York’s 19th Congressional District had for weeks been viewed as a likely Republican victory, with polls even days before Election Day projecting Molinaro in the lead. The swing district voted for Barack Obama in 2012, Trump in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020.
The Hudson Valley race was also being watched as a possible bellwether for November’s midterm elections – where likewise Republicans had been expected to win the majority in the House.
But projections were upended after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June sent an unprecedented shockwave through midterm voters across the nation.
Ryan ran his campaign largely on the rollback of abortion rights, while Molinaro focused on the economic burden everyday Americans are feeling under record inflation and a sinking stock market. Ryan defeated Molinaro 51.3% to 48.7%, with 99% of the vote counted.
Midterm elections are usually miserable for the party in power, and with inflation high and President Joe Biden’s approval rating low, Republicans are anticipating a typical landslide. While it may still end up a solid GOP year, Ryan’s win is the latest indication that Democrats don’t have to abandon hope just yet.
Democrats nationwide are seeing a new hope in an election year that was widely expected to bring a ‘red tsunami’ to Congress.
Voters in deep-red Kansas bucked expectations when they turned out in droves last month to reject a proposal that would have stripped abortion protections out of their state constitution.
Now, election watchers on both sides of the aisle got their first glimpse into how that translates into picking a Congressional representative.
And the 19th is a true ‘swing district,’ having gone for Barack Obama in 2012, Donald Trump in 2016 and then Biden in 2020.
But a growing number of public opinion polls show that the Supreme Court overturning Roe may be a significant enough factor to shake up this year’s races.
An Ipsos/USA Today poll released earlier this month suggests 7 in 10 US voters want to vote on a similar ballot measure to the one in Kansas.
And 54 percent said they would vote to protect the right to an abortion.
Dutchess County executive Marc Molinaro has insisted in multiple public comments that Americans are mainly concerned with the economy
Ryan told Reuters before Election Day that ‘the ground is literally shifting’ because of the Roe decision.
‘This has fundamentally re-energized – certainly in this district and this community – not just Democrats, but a wide swath of folks,’ the Democrat said.
Molinaro insisted to the outlet that everyday Americans were primarily concerned about the state of their finances.
‘These are families, and these are communities, that are working too hard and getting too little in return…that’s what’s on their minds,’ he said.
The Republican’s claim is also backed up by public surveys, with more than two-thirds of respondents to an early August ABC News/Ipsos poll believing the US economy is getting worse.
Just 37 percent of people who were surveyed said they approve of Biden’s handling of the economy.
The outlook brightened somewhat in a new NBC News poll released on Sunday, though his approval rating on the economy is still under water at 40 percent.
While it could be an early sign for what’s to come, the election results won’t be a definitive victory for either side looking toward next year.
The state’s newly-redrawn Congressional map will force Ryan to run in the nearby 18th district in November, after also winning that primary race on Tuesday night.
While Molinaro’s home will also technically be outside the bounds of the new 19th district, he’s setting up to run for the same seat again later this year.
Meanwhile in Florida, Rep. Charlie Crist won his state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night and will now face DeSantis in November.
In selecting the 66-year-old lawmaker, who is backed by the national Democratic establishment, Sunshine State voters undoubtedly chose the safer, more moderate option to run against the GOP powerhouse.
DeSantis, whose approval numbers are skyrocketing not just in the Sunshine State but among Republicans nationwide, is uncontested in the GOP primary.
DeSantis, views his November reelection as a potential springboard into the 2024 presidential contest, where he is expected to be the major rival to Donald Trump.
Crist had been polling ahead of Fried, Florida’s outspoken progressive Agricultural Commissioner, for weeks. He came out ahead early on Tuesday night and retained a comfortable double-digit lead after polls closed at 7pm Eastern Time.
Crist went into Tuesday’s race with high profile endorsements including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The moderate lawmaker was a Republican when he served one term as governor of Florida from 2007 until 2011. After a failed bid for Senate he narrowly lost re-election to Republican Rick Scott in 2014. He ran as a Democrat for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, a seat he’s held since 2017.
Crist’s race has been a smaller-scale test run of President Joe Biden’s successful 2020 campaign, though the Democrat lost Florida to Donald Trump in that race.
Like Biden he’s sought to portray himself as a unifying and non-divisive candidate who’s focused on kitchen table issues.
He reasserted that campaign strategy during his victory speech on Tuesday night. Surrounded by family while addressing ecstatic supporters, Crist said: ‘The people of Florida clearly sent a message. They want a governor who cares about them to solve real problems, who preserves our freedom.’ In a shot at DeSantis, he added, ‘not a bully who divides us while taking our freedom away.’
Rep. Charlie Crist was Florida’s Republican governor more than a decade ago before later switching parties
DeSantis (pictured Tuesday), whose approval numbers are skyrocketing not just in the Sunshine State but among Republicans nationwide, is uncontested in the GOP primary
DeSantis is considered former President Donald Trump’s top rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, partly due to the way he’s leaned into political and cultural divides in the Sunshine State. On Tuesday he demonstrated why.
The governor began the day with a Cabinet meeting, which included Nikki Fried.
DeSantis shook Fried’s hand as the meeting concluded and told her ‘good luck’ before criticizing her campaign and predicting – accurately, it turned out – her loss in brief remarks to reporters.
‘I think that you know she had an opportunity as being the only Democrat elected statewide to exercise some leadership and maybe get some things done and instead she’s used her time to try and smear me on a daily basis, that’s all she does,’ DeSantis said of Fried.
After polls closed in the evening, DeSantis grabbed the spotlight again, speaking to a crowd in Miami.
‘We’re not going to let this state be overrun by woke ideology, we will fight the woke in the business, we will fight the woke in government agencies, we will fight the woke in our schools,’ DeSantis said. ‘We will never, ever surrender to the woke agenda. Florida is the state where woke goes to die.’