GOP primary voters reject 3 Trump recommendations in just 2 weeks


After bragging about his perfect endorsement record, Trump has had a bad June.

Republican voters in two congressional districts ignored Donald Trump's advice in Tuesday's primaries and chose candidates Trump had opposed.

Three candidates backed by Trump have now been defeated since he touted his "64-0" endorsement record in the 2020 election cycle earlier this month.

Rep. Thomas Massie easily won renomination in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District for a fifth full term despite Trump's opposition.

In March, Massie forced hundreds of his colleagues to travel back to Washington, D.C., in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic for a vote on economic relief. Trump mocked Massie at the time as "a third rate Grandstander" who "just wants the publicity."

"By empowering the Radical Left Democrats, do nothing Kentucky politician @RepThomasMassie is making their War on the 2nd Amendment more and more difficult to win (But don’t worry, we will win anyway!). He is a disaster for America, and for the Great State of Kentucky!" Trump also tweeted.

He urged voters to "WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!" They did not.

In North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, Trump repeatedly endorsed Lynda Bennett earlier this month for the nomination to replace his White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

He praised her as "a great fighter & ally in North Carolina" who "is Strong on Crime, Borders, Military, our Great Vets & 2A" and "will be a great help to me in DC." Meadows also backed Bennett.

But after giving a plurality to Bennett in the March primary — before Trump weighed in — Republican voters instead on Tuesday nominated 24-year-old Madison Cawthorn. As of Wednesday morning, Cawthorn was ahead of Bennett in the runoff by a margin of nearly 2 to 1.

The two losses by candidates backed by Trump came just 10 days after Republicans in Virginia's 5th Congressional District nominated self-styled "biblical conservative" challenger Bob Good over a Trump-backed incumbent.

Trump tweeted in December that first-term Rep. Denver Riggleman was "a true CONSERVATIVE leader who has done a great job for Virginia and will support our #MAGA Agenda.

"He defends our right to bear arms, protect our Borders & help small businesses. Denver has my Total Endorsement!" Trump wrote. Delegates to the district nominating convention apparently backed Good 58% to 42%. Riggleman has suggested he might challenge the result or run as a third-party candidate.)

The trio of losses means Trump can no longer boast of a perfect record of endorsements for 2020.

On June 4, he retweeted a Republican operative who noted Trump's "64-0" record to that point. "This hasn’t received enough coverage: @realDonaldTrump has an undefeated record of candidate endorsements this cycle," Steve Guest observed.

A day earlier, he retweeted a similar message posted by Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, who said, "If you think the energy and enthusiasm on our side is strong now, wait until 'Donald J. Trump' himself is on the ballot in November!"

The "undefeated record" appeared to include "winners" such as Reps. Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, and Lloyd Smucker, all in Pennsylvania districts and all of whom ran unopposed.

The Tuesday results came as a New York Times/Sienna College poll found voters nationally have soured on Trump, who according to the poll trails Joe Biden by 14 points. While Trump and Biden each lead by 85 points among voters in their own party, independents favor Biden by a 21-point margin.

Just 27% of registered voters gave Trump a "very favorable" rating, while 50% hold a "very unfavorable" impression of him.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.