Trump has spread his midterm endorsements. Allies say more losses are inevitable.

donald TRUMPET-This year’s endorsed candidates now officially have a 56-1 record, after a candidate he supported Nebraska’s main GOP for the governor was defeated Tuesday night amid multiple allegations of sexual assault.

But those close to the former president cargo that first few rounds main competitions are easy and more losses could start to accumulate this month.

Trump’s ability to push candidates to the finish line in tight major contests is one of the most watched dynamics in the midterm primary election cycle. It’s a test of his current power in the Republican Party and a measure of how much he controls it as he looks at a return bid for the White House.

His first major loss came on Tuesday, when Charles Herbster finished second as Nebraska’s primary governor.

But the night was not a complete loss. The victory of Trump-backed Rep. Alex Mooney at a major West Virginia House never paid much attention.

The Nebraska defeat was not a complete surprise to Trump’s political operation. Herbster was a faulty candidate, accused by eight women of inappropriate touching. And, the former president’s allies argue, Trump has endorsed 169 candidates and counting, too many would expect him to get a perfect record.

But even if they try to set expectations, the outcomes of future competitions appear to be signs of Trump’s popularity, while deciding the fate of some of his strongest supporters.

On May 17, two Trump-endorsed candidates faced tough primaries for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania and for governor of Idaho. A week later, Georgia Republicans will vote in the gubernatorial primary, where a Trump-recruited challenger is currently following. The same day, his Texas attorney race candidate, incumbent Ken Paxton, faced a runoff against Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in the Bush family’s political dynasty.

“May is a killer line for [former] president, “said a Trump insider, who discussed endorsements and future careers with the former president and spoke on condition of anonymity to detail private discussions.” He knows that is possible. ‘g it will hurt and that Herbster will be the first domino. “

Trump hates to disappear.

That’s why he called on allies to strengthen his chosen candidates, especially in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where he no longer exists. He plans pre-primary tele-rallies in both states. He held a rally Friday in Pennsylvania and plans to travel to Texas on Saturday.

“It doesn’t dim the light. He is ready. ”

Republican CONSULTANT Jeff Roe said

Even if Trump’s candidates lose marquee races in four states, Republican and Democratic insiders alike say the former president will still remain the undisputed leader of the GOP. Despite losing his re-election, he can still fill arenas, sell merchandise, raise more money than any political party and out-poll any potential. opponent for a 2024 White House race. There was a parade of Republicans at his Florida home asking for his endorsement. And his endorsements have been able to push candidates struggling in the election to victory.

“What he did with JD Vance was just impressive, and I wasn’t very impressed with politics. Vance died, and Trump brought him back to life,” said Republican consultant Jeff Roe.

In addition, voters may not connect with Trump’s losses.

“It doesn’t dim the light,” Roe said. “He’s salty.”

Trump has never had a broad-based appeal and his support has always been driven by his core voters.

“Once upon a time in [2020] campaign, I told him, ‘Surprisingly, you’ve been through a global pandemic, an economic shutdown like a depression, urban unrest, and your base is still strong,’ ”John McLaughlin said, a Trump pollster. NBC news. “And he said to me, without missing a beat, ‘You left impeachment.’ He understands how to remain baseless. ”

Trump is stubborn, as well.

He remained at Herbster despite allegations of sexual assault that would end several campaigns. (Herbster denied the allegations, calling them a “smear campaign.) Tuesday’s winner, Jim Pillen, was backed by the state’s outgoing governor, Jim Ricketts, who rules a powerful political machine and great personal wealth, some of which he poured in. to promote his desired candidate.

Prior to Trump’s rise, a common view in modern politics was that endorsements were virtually unimportant and that voters paid little attention to what politicians thought of each other.

But endorsements are important to Trump.

The former president considered the endorsements a sign of his strength within the Republican Party, and he closely tracked his wins and losses. During an interview once in the Oval Office, Trump boasted of his record, calling a political aide to create a spreadsheet that he happily gave to a reporter.

Always aware of the importance of a win-loss record, Trump has filled his statistics with multiple endorsements of candidates and incumbents facing the sign of opposition. Thus, only a handful of the 56 Trump -backed candidates who have already won are actually involved in tough races.

Even if Trump has always described his endorsements as “complete and comprehensive,” it’s not always ironic. Last year, for example, he endorsed Republican Congressman Mo Brooks in the Alabama Republican Senate primary race, expressing the “COURAGE” and “FIGHT” he showed (Brooks was one of the speakers at the Trump Jan. 6 rally. before the attack on the Capitol mobs). In March, Trump withdrew the endorsement as Brooks’ campaign struggling to acquire land.

Trump focuses on whether his allies are following the lockstep or ignoring his choices and choosing opponents. Last week, he spoke by phone with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and mentioned the endorsements they make in Nebraska – where they both support Herbster – and other states, someone familiar with the conversation told NBC News on condition of anonymity because they didn’t wants to publicly disclose private conversations.

Noem is considered a potential Trump running mate in 2024 and he wants their endorsements to be consistent.

“The president seems to indicate that he is happy that Gov. Noem supports the same candidates, because that is not the case with many others in the party today, ”said this man.

Trump is not happy that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, campaigned for David McCormick in the Pennsylvania Senate race, according to this source and another Trump confidant who also spoke anonymously because they were not allowed to discuss private matters. talk in public. Trump endorsed Mehmet Oz, the TV doctor offer. A Trump spokesman did not respond to a request for comment about his views on Cruz’s support.

Explaining why Cruz, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other Trump allies chose to support McCormick, David Urban, a former Trump campaign adviser and McCormick supporter, said: “Oz plays a doctor on TV, and he plays a political conservative. ”

Those familiar with Trump’s thinking say he has the lowest expectations for David Perdue, the former senator who lost again in the 2020 election runoff, who has been accused by Republican critics of Trump’s insistence that the November election was stolen. Trump recruited Perdue to run against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp because Trump was angry that Kemp didn’t help him break his election defeat there.

Trump has done more to help Perdue than any candidate he has endorsed, but Kemp continues to lead the polls.

However, it is a testament to Trump’s power that he has yet to find a top-tier candidate to challenge the famous Kemp and force him to spend money to curb an anger, according to a former Georgia Rep. . Lynn Westmoreland.

“I’ve never seen a former president involved in so many careers or so strongly,” Westmoreland said. “I’m a big supporter of Trump. But I don’t know if his endorsement is enough to defeat Kemp, but his endorsement will have a big impact.”

However, Democratic insiders say their party should not make more of any defeat to Trump-endorsed candidates.

Tad Devine, a veteran Democratic adviser on several presidential campaigns, said Trump’s impact on general voters is “poisonous” to the GOP, but the party can’t help itself. And Devine was amazed: “I’ve never seen a presidential campaign lose that dictated such loyalty … It’s absolutely incredible.”

Regarding the loss of Herbster and the upcoming May GOP primary, Devine said, “You can’t endorse this many people and have a perfect record. Trump will lose the races. But I don’t think he will lose the races. his strong grip on the Republican Party.

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