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GOP Takes a House Seat from Dems, and Trump Scores Multiple Wins in Tuesday's Primaries

06-15-2022
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Democrats' control over the U.S. House of Representatives shrank by one seat Tuesday, and candidates backed by former President Donald Trump won their primaries in several states.

Republicans scored their major victory in a special congressional election in Texas as GOP candidate Mayra Flores captured a seat that had been held by former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who resigned this year to become a lobbyist.

Flores, a GOP organizer who is the daughter of migrant workers, will only hold the seat for several months before the district is redrawn. 
She won by a decisive margin in a district that is 85 percent Hispanic and traditionally Democratic, which is an ominous sign for Democrats.

Republicans are hoping to make inroads among Hispanic voters in the midterm elections this fall.

Meanwhile, voters in four other states picked candidates for the upcoming midterm elections, including South Carolina, Nevada, North Dakota, and Maine.

In the Republican primaries in South Carolina, U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, who voted to impeach former President Trump, was ousted by a Trump-backed candidate, Russell Fry.

However, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, who also criticized Trump, survived her primary challenge. Trump, who is contemplating a 2024 White House campaign, backed former state Rep. Katie Arrington who Mace defeated, while former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who's also considering running for president, campaigned with Mace. As South Carolina's former governor, Haley demonstrated she still has clout in her home state.

Trump backed a key winner in Nevada, where Adam Laxalt won the Republican Senate primary. He will face Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, considered one of the more vulnerable senators in the country. 

As CBN News reported, Cortez Masto helped flip the Senate blue in 2016. Now Nevada's midterm Senate race could be a key decider in determining which party controls the chamber after November. 

Nevada Independent editor and political insider Elizabeth Thompson said pocketbook issues will likely be the priority for voters. "The Democrats are definitely on the defensive, and it's just the way the political and economic cookie crumbles," she said. 

Trump also backed the winning candidates for the Nevada and South Carolina governors' primaries, Joe Lombardo and Henry McMaster, as well as a few other House and Senate races. 

Thirty-four Senate seats and every single U.S. House seat will be up for a vote in November. Political experts say Republicans are expected to win back control of the House. Right now, Democrats hold a very slim majority in the House. They also hold an even slimmer one in the Senate, where even though both parties each hold 50 seats, the Democrats control the majority due to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Trump's Influence 

As CBN News has reported, Donald Trump is seeing both wins and losses as the primary season hits its halfway mark. While his word still goes a long way with Republican voters, his preferred candidates don't have a perfect record.

The former president hasn't shied away from weighing in on some of the country's most pivotal races, and the question of how much influence he still brings to the table continues to be thoroughly dissected.

Still, Trump has more wins than losses, and that record is important for the former president according to CBN News Chief Political Analyst David Brody. 

"He does care about the win-loss record for sure. But let's make no mistake, Donald Trump is powerful in the Republican Party, there's not a question about that," Brody noted. "This has nothing to do with any sort of staying power in 2024, for people to interpret results and say, 'Well wait a minute. Maybe his election 2020 stuff won't work in 2024,' that's hogwash."

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More primaries remain as the midterm elections approach in November, with the former president expected to play a big role down the stretch.

"What I'm seeing is that Trump's popularity within the Republican Party isn't easily transferable to other candidates. I think President Trump himself is still popular and voters are thankful for things he's done and continues to do, but that doesn't necessarily mean Republican voters are looking for Trump to tell them exactly what they should do or who to vote for in every race," said Inside Elections Editor Nathan Gonzales.

Still, it's worth keeping tabs on how often voters are going with Trump's candidates because it could be a sign of how much support the former president has as he potentially eyes another bid for the White House.

Maine's Former GOP Governor Who Was 'Trump Before There Was Trump' 

Tuesday's gubernatorial primaries in Maine were a mere formality since the races were uncontested. But they locked in what promises to be a doozy of a general election between two longtime foes.

Democratic incumbent, Janet Mills is seeking a second term. She's a former district attorney, a state lawmaker, and Maine attorney general who frequently clashed with Republican Paul LePage when he was governor. Now LePage, who has described himself as "Trump before there was Trump," is challenging her.

The contest will test the appeal of Trump-backed candidates in New England. The Democratic Governors Association has already booked $5 million in TV ad time.

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