November 25, 2022

Trump is on an approval spree, topping 100 political candidates

  • The former president handed out his 100th — and continuing — endorsement on Wednesday.
  • Trump has already endorsed candidates in 30 different states.
  • The common thread: unfailing loyalty to Trump.

Donald Trump earned and then surpassed his 100th public endorsement on Wednesday in political races across the country since leaving the White House, according to an Insider analysis of his post-presidential activity.

It’s a milestone that shows Trump’s enduring power within the Republican Party. His slate of MAGA-backed candidates also demonstrates a penchant for picking incumbent and rookie political candidates with one thing in common: absolute loyalty to him.

Trump has also been in races at seemingly every level of government, according to Insider’s review. To date, he has endorsed candidates who have run in 43 races for the United States House of Representatives, 13 United States Senate elections, 14 gubernatorial campaigns, 11 state residency contests, seven races to the State Senate and myriad others up to the county judge level.

He’s also geographically picked people everywhere, inserting himself into upcoming elections in at least 30 different states – including places where he tried and failed to overturn 2020 election results like Arizona, Georgia and Michigan.

Notably, Trump weighed in on 15 state government races in Michigan, a battleground where President Joe Biden beat him by less than three percentage points en route to winning the White House.

Insider’s tally as of Wednesday has 105 political candidates who have won Trump’s public support.

His most recent statements of “Complete and Total Endorsement!” arrived Tuesday for South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, followed by a Wednesday party praising Reps. Claudia Tenney and Elise Stefanik of New York, John Moolenaar of Michigan, Morgan Griffith of Virginia, Warren Davidson of the ‘Ohio and Vernon Jones, who is running for a U.S. House seat left open by incumbent Rep. Jody Hice (Trump previously announced in March 2021 that he was backing Hice’s candidacy to be the next secretary of State of Georgia).

The former president also endorsed on Wednesday night a pair of Republicans running in the primaries against incumbents who challenged him: Katie Arrington in her bid to unseat freshman GOP Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Loren Culp , which challenges four-term Rep. Dan Newhouse, an impeachment supporter from Washington State.

impeachment revenge

Trump has made it a focal point in finding candidates who can try to unseat current GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach or convict him in two historic episodes spanning late 2019 and into early 2019. 2021.

Four-term lawmaker Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is the only one of seven Republican senators to back the conviction and whose name appears on the ballot this fall. In this race, Trump endorsed political neophyte Kelly Tshibaka because she is, according to him“MAGA all the way.”

Republican Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard Burr of North Carolina are both retiring at the end of their terms, so they have largely succeeded in shaking off Trump’s ire.

Impeachment supporter Mitt Romney of Utah isn’t back until 2024. And impeachment supporters Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska will not face voters again until 2026.

Trump has been much busier on the House side, recruiting challengers for more than half of the sitting Representatives who backed his impeachment.

Republican Representatives Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and John Katko of New York opted out of the equation by choosing to retire rather than fight a Trump sidekick.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has now been censured by state party officials and the Republican National Committee, is running for re-election against Trump’s pick Harriet Hageman.

Hageman, an attorney who worked on one of Cheney’s previous campaigns, is now fully committed to Trump.

And then there’s Culp, who won Trump’s endorsement on Wednesday in his run against Newhouse in the Aug. 2 primary in Washington state.

To date, Trump has a mixed record seeing his endorsements all the way to victory.

In Virginia, he backed upstart Glenn Youngkin in May 2021 the day after the businessman secured the GOP gubernatorial nomination en route to winning an off-year election that has left Republicans optimistic about their medium-term chances in 2022.

But two Trump-backed candidates also fell apart. House GOP candidate Susan Wright lost her bid for a congressional seat in Texas, while Senate hopeful Sean Parnell had to drop out of his race to win the GOP nomination in Pennsylvania after that messy divorce proceedings overshadowed his campaign.

Trump has yet to weigh in again on Keystone State’s set of primaries for May 17, which includes a former ambassador for his administration, Carla Sands, hedge fund CEO David McCormick (who is married to the former Trump aide Dina Powell), and Mehmet Oz, the television celebrity who also has ties to Trump.

Tours of Bedminster, Mar-a-Lago

Like much of Trump’s political career, the process of getting an endorsement has been bumpy.

Some political candidates have tried to win the ex-president’s support through unsolicited trips to Trump’s private clubs in New Jersey and Florida.

Indeed, spending money at its resorts is a way to get Trump’s attention, and an RNC official told Insider they know of several New Englanders who have flocked to Mar. -a-Lago this year, uninvited, hoping to run into Trump or an immediate. family member in order to lobby for a photo shoot and a cookie cutter on his sporadic post-presidential news feed.

Others have hired Trumpworld alumni like former campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski, former spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway and future daughter-in-law Kimberly Guilfoyle as campaign consultants in hopes of scoring personal introductions. .

Still, some Republicans wonder if Trump’s stamp of approval still packs the same punch.

“Trump’s endorsements may have been the end of everything a while ago, but I don’t think they are anymore,” a member of the Republican National Committee told Insider.

The RNC official said any idea of ​​a pay-to-play system devalues ​​the whole deal. So does supporting multiple candidates in the same race, as Trump considered doing in order to increase his win rate.

“It wasn’t a very good machine to start with,” the RNC official said of Trump’s endorsement project.