In South Carolina, the very first House Republican to support Donald Trump’s impeachment and then face a Trump-endorsed rival in a race paid the price.
Maine laid the stage for a rematch between Trump and Biden in 2024. Meanwhile, a large section of southern Texas, which is mainly Latino, swung right.
With elections on Tuesday in South Carolina, Nevada, North Dakota, and Maine, the midterms election schedule has now covered nearly half of the territories.
Here are five key lessons from a day that put Trump’s authority, incumbency, and right-wing anti-establishment passion to the test…
Impeachment is a Lethal Weapon
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this year’s elections, it’s that Trump isn’t unbeatable.
In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp, as well as Brad Raffensperger, defeated Trump-backed rivals. In last week’s elections, a few House Republicans who voted to form a bipartisan panel to examine the Capitol incident on Jan. 6 were re-elected.
In South Carolina, Rep. Nancy Mace was racing ahead of her Trump-backed opponent on Tuesday, despite her critiques of the previous president.
However, if there is a limit to how far a conservative can go against Trump, the other carefully watched House contest in South Carolina looked to expose it.
Rep. Tom Rice, who tried to oust Trump and never stopped criticizing him, lost his primary to Trump-backed state Rep. Russell Fry.
Rice received almost a quarter of the support in the seaside district he has represented for a decade, 17 months after voting to impeach Trump.
Rice stated he is OK with his impeachment vote and intends to inspire others to stand up to Trump; although he may not have succeeded.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 15, 2022
The outcome is bleak for the remaining House members who tried to oust Trump and have not yet retired.
Rice and his household endured personal agony, death threats, and hate messages, only to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of a Trump-backed rival. Few people would wish to follow in his footsteps.
Rice, on the other hand, may have been in worse shape than other impeachment candidates.
Reps. Peter Meijer (R-MI), David Valadao (R-CA), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) all have areas that are somewhat moderate and could back their choice.
All-party primaries are also held by Herrera Beutler and Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), which might provide some protection.
Rice had to deal with an enraged GOP base with little time to prepare. Another South Carolina Republican acquainted with the Mace and Rice campaigns remarked, “He wanted to remove and Mace did not.”
The abuse of Trump by New York politicians is shameful. https://t.co/qvBJ3y6XLv
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) June 15, 2022
Trump is Now the Mainstream
Adam Laxalt received Trump’s support, as well as that of a slew of other major national Republican leaders and organizations.
He may be fine in his attempt to represent Nevada in the Senate. Whatever the final score, it wasn’t supposed to be this difficult for a previous state attorney with a political background.
The Nevada Republican Party endorsed Sam Brown, an injured Afghanistan soldier and anti-establishment maverick in the springtime, forcing Laxalt and his supporters to scurry.
The Club for Growth spent nearly $750,000 on television advertising criticizing Brown in the previous three weeks in an attempt to shore up Laxalt’s Republican votes.
Laxalt recruited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to Nevada to campaign alongside him; he got Trump’s backing in the shape of a tele-town hall last week.