Alexandra Ulmer and Jarrett Renshaw
(Reuters) – Month of May brings Donald Trump the biggest test of his political influence from the end of of his presidency because the candidates he endorsed run in the Republican primaries, which set scene for Mid-term congressional elections in November.
Trump-backed candidates in Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina face active and well-funded contenders seeking the Republican nomination for run for US Senate. former the president has also supported the candidacy of the current republican governor of Georgia, who pissed off Trump by rejecting him false claims that his defeat in the 2020 election was result of fraud.
They are among highest-profile — and in happening of Senate, majority critical for in party — of in more over 150 candidates for federal, state and local races trump approved it year. Their races will be scrutinized for Any sign that trump’s iron grip on his party can weaken when he flirts with a possible 2024 White House run.
“It is important for him to maintain this perception and perhaps the reality that he is a kingmaker in Republican Party,” said Mike Duham, a Republican strategist, cautioning: “Trump’s support is still powerful it’s not invincible.”
victories in Maybe for some of Trump more disputed Senate elections, including former football star Herschel Walker in Georgia and telephysician Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, won’t guarantee success in November 8 general choices and gaffes can allow The Democrats will keep their tiny majority in the Senate.
Polls show that at least one of May Trump Election Senate Candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio, this leading going to the primaries on Tuesday. But Oz is inferior to rival David McCormick. of May 17 Pennsylvania primary and former Senator David Perdue trails Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in their May 24 game.
Poor performance of Trump-backed candidates may not detract from him support with his main supporters. Reuters/Ipsos poll last week showed 83% of Republicans view in former the president favorably and 40% said he was the leader who best presents them to the party ahead of 25% for its closest potential rival for 2024 nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“His power basis – tens of millions of disgruntled voters across the country,” said Justin Saifi. of Ballard Partners, Florida lobbying firm. with connections with Trump. “Whatever happens to his endorsed candidates, I don’t think it will change the conventional wisdom that he will still be the leader. for Republican Party nomination for 2024”.
Trump expected to finalize medium-term spending plan for his massive battle chest after contests in Sources told Reuters in Ohio and Pennsylvania. last month.
representative for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump stuns Ohio Republicans on April 15, supporting Vance, venture capitalist and author who it was bitter critical of in former the president.
More than 40 Republican officials have written to Trump urging him not to support Vance, arguing that his history of criticism of trump would be fodder for its democratic opponent.
After Trump’s approval, a Fox News poll showed Vance jumped 12 percent. points from a previous survey to highlight support of 23% of primary voters, while opponent Josh Mandel lost 2 points interrogate at the level of 18%. However, 25% of voters said they were undecided.
In Pennsylvania, Trump’s approval on April 9 of Oz did little for move polls, with in latest poll showing dense race with former McCormick hedge fund CEO.
In a published poll by Monmouth University last week, 61% of Pennsylvania Republicans say they are ‘highly likely’ vote for McCormick compared to 51% for Oz.
Polls in North Carolina show Trump-backed Senate candidate Rep. Ted Budd leading rival former Gov. Pat McCrory despite a crowded field in that race could force July run-off.
In Georgia, Trump defied the Republican establishment by encouraging Purdue challenge popular Acting Kemp, who infuriated Trump by certifying the 2020 election results it showed that President Joe Biden defeated him in state.
Perdue was about 20 behind Kemp. points in a recent poll published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Georgia will become a testing ground for what else of the country will see it’s time to turn the page,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeff Duncan, an anti-Trump Republican.
Even Trump’s faith in Purdue seems to hesitate. At a rally in Georgia in In March, Trump turned to Purdue and said, “I hope you become governor, David. Or me just spent a hell of a lot of time tonight.”
( story refiles to fix second paragraph on “deviation”, from “rejected”.)
(Report by Alexandra Ulmer in San Francisco and Jarrett Renshaw in Philadelphia; Edited by Scott Malone and Daniel Wallis)