Donald Trump is doing well in Republican endorsement victories. Not perfect, but well. His candidate JD Vance recently won in the GOP Ohio Senate primary and his West Virginia congressional proxy Alex Mooney won on Tuesday. In Nebraska though, his gubernatorial choice Charles Herbster went down to defeat. So, Trump’s clout is strong, but not unbeatable. The proof in the pudding will be in Pennsylvania and Georgia coming up over the next two weeks, especially in Georgia.
In PA Trump has backed television doc Mehmet Oz for the Senate and Doug Mastriano for governor in the GOP primary set for next Tuesday.
Oz has a fight on his hands from Kathy Barnette. The race is too close to call a week out. According to FNC, “In March, businessman David McCormick led television celebrity Dr. Oz by 9 points (24%-15%). A new Fox News survey of Pennsylvania GOP primary voters shows the candidates trading places, with Oz receiving 22% to McCormick’s 20% and political commentator Barnette right with them at 19%. Next, is businesswoman Carla Sands at 8% and real estate investor Jeff Bartos at 7%.”
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“Oz has closed the gap, and the parallels with J.D. Vance in Ohio are obvious,” says pollster Daron Shaw. “But McCormick and Barnette have considerable support, and with one out of five voters uncommitted, odds are that the vote will be very close.”
“Even though Oz got Trump’s endorsement, Barnette has more momentum,” says pollster Chris Anderson. “Her support doubled in two months, her supporters are the most interested, and her negatives are much lower than Oz or McCormick.” Among voters who are extremely interested in the election, Barnette (25%) is preferred over Oz (22%) and McCormick (21%) by a slim margin.
In the GOP gubernatorial primary Trump choice Mastriano is way ahead with 29%. Next comes Lou Barletta at 17%, Bill McSwain at 13%, and Dave White at 11%. So, Trump could split PA. But given what happened with Vance in Ohio it’s more likely he runs the table there.
The Republican Georgia grudge match on the 24th has two likely outcomes. Trump loathes both incumbent Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. They drew his wrath over 2020 general election issues. Kemp looks like a sure thing over Trump backed David Perdue in the gubernatorial primary. But Raffensperger looks like he’s headed to a runoff with Trump pawn Jody Hice. If one recalls, Trump doesn’t have a great record in Georgia runoffs.
Comments Raffensperger on the charges leveled at him by Trump and Hice, “Jody Hice has been running around the state of Georgia for 18 months now lying, and point by point, everything he says is a lie,” Raffensperger said. “It’s never supported by the facts. And so he says, well, voters don’t have confidence in the system. It’s because you’ve been lying, Jody Hice, because you said we didn’t have signature match in 2020. Our signature match rejection rate in 2020 was 11% higher for signature matching issues… in 2020 than it was in 2018. We’ve got the facts on our side.”
Indeed he does. But most voters don’t care about facts. They run on emotion. And Trump has proven he can get out his vote. Thus when the smoke clears in both PA and Georgia and he could come out again with a solid showing. Not infallible, but solid.