“Why wouldn’t we win?”
President Donald Trump triumphantly took to twitter to celebrate Republican primary wins early Wednesday morning.
“The Republican Party had a great night. Tremendous voter energy and excitement, and all candidates are those who have a great chance of winning in November,” he tweeted just before 7:30 am. “The economy is sooo strong, and with Nancy Pelosi wanting to end the big Tax Cuts and Raise Taxes, why wouldn’t we win?”
Tuesday’s primaries were in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and North Carolina — all states the President won in 2016. North Carolina saw a three-term incumbent Republican brought down when Mark Harris defeated Representative Robert Pittenger in the 9th District’s Republican primary.
Harris, former senior pastor at Charlotte First Baptist Church and former president of the North Carolina Baptist Convention, had challenged Pittenger in 2016 and lost by just 134 votes. Also in NC, Representative Walter Jones (R) weathered a tough primary challenge from Scott Dacey, Craven County commissioner and federal lobbyist for Native American Tribes.
Indiana’s primary saw businessman Mike Braun upset two sitting congressmen for the GOP Senate nomination. Braun entered the race in August, fueling his bid for the Senate seat with five million dollars of his own money. A Representative in the Indiana House from 2014, Braun resigned in 2017 to enter this race.
Touting himself as an outsider (despite his serving in the state legislature), Braun apparently tapped into the strong anti-establishment sentiments harbored by many Hoosiers by labeling his two opponents ‘swamp brothers’.
The blistering nature of the campaign amongst Braun, Todd Rokita (U.S. Representative, 4th District since 2011) and Luke Messer (U.S. Representative, 6th District since 2013) saw allegations of questionable use of tax dollars, out-of-state living, ethical transgressions and drunk driving convictions.
John Hammond III of the Republican National Committee representing Indiana observed, “This race has slowly but surely descended into Dante’s Inferno. It will provide Democrats with an awful lot of free opposition research.”
Rokita and Messer are both out of jobs next year; they gave up safe House seats to run for Senate. Braun will square off against incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly (D) in the fall. Donnelly is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the November race.
Ohio saw Attorney General Mike DeWine win the Republican primary for Governor over his opponent Lt. Governor Mary Taylor (who had the backing of outgoing Gov. John Kasich.)
“Congratulations to Mike DeWine on his big win in the Great State of Ohio,” President Trump tweeted. “He will be a great Governor with a heavy focus on HealthCare and Jobs. His Socialist opponent in November should not do well, a big failure in last job.”
The ‘socialist opponent’ would be former Ohio Attorney General and former director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Richard Cordray (D) who defeated former Rep. Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic nod.
Cordray will face an uphill gubernatorial battle in the state President Trump won by 8 percentage points; Democrats have held the governorship for just four of the past 28 years. Cordray may have to defend his time at the CFPB- “The [CFPB] remains a lightning rod” says Isaac Boltansky of Compass Point Research & Trading. “It will play a prominent role in the general election.”
Also in Ohio, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci won the Republican primary to challenge U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D) in Ohio this fall.
“Ohio is a Trump state, Ohio is going forward with the Trump Agenda,” Renacci told his supporters after Tuesday night’s win. “And Ohio is going to get anybody who is an obstacle, including Senator Brown, out of the way.”
However, West Virginia’s Senate primary has attracted the most attention. While Attorney General Patrick Morrisey defeated establishment favorite Representative Evan Jenkins and former coal CEO and ex-convict Don Blankenship, it was the latter’s casting himself as a victim of government persecution and other campaign antics that brought national attention. A personal message from President Trump on Monday urged West Virginians to cast their ballots for one of the Republicans running against Blankenship.
“To the great people of West Virginia, we have together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference,” the President said Monday. “Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate can’t win the General Election in your state…No way! Remember Alabama, vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G.Morrisey.”
Evidently, the people of West Virginia agreed.
~ Liberty Planet