Another Trump-Endorsed Congressional Candidate Loses By Large Margin

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Newly available results and projections reveal Loren Culp, a Trump endorsement recipient running in the primary race for the Congressional seat representing Washington’s Fourth District,┬álost to incumbent Republican Dan Newhouse and the lone Democrat in the race, Doug White.

Washington’s primary elections work differently than the system most familiar to many voters elsewhere. In the state’s primaries, all candidates vying for the seat in question appear on the same ballot, and the two contenders who get the most votes overall — regardless of party affiliation — move on to the general election. In results available early Monday, Newhouse had 25.5 percent, White nabbed 25.4 percent, and Culp got 21.1 percent. Two other candidates, including a former NASCAR driver and a state legislator, cracked double-digits. Newhouse voted for Trump’s impeachment after the Capitol riot last year, and — as could be expected — the former president mentioned this element of the Congressman’s recent record in his endorsement message for Culp, a former police chief in a small Washington town of some 1,000 people.

“A man of the people, Loren will always defend your personal liberty, our under-siege Second Amendment, Election Integrity, and Law Enforcement,” Trump said in February. Trump seemed at least as interested in going after Newhouse in the endorsement message as he was in elevating particular elements of the Culp campaign. The Republican lean of Newhouse’s district, where he was first elected to serve as Congressman in 2014, means he’s likely set for re-election later this year. A total of ten House Republicans, including Newhouse, voted for Trump’s impeachment after the riot, and others aren’t coming back. For example, Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) both announced their retirements, and Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) lost his primary in his race for re-election.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), another prominent Republican among the ten, might lose her imminent primary to Trump endorsee Harriet Hageman, who polling indicates is leading. Trump’s record of endorsements, however, isn’t a simple portrait of success. His pick for Georgia governor, David Perdue, lost to incumbent Brian Kemp in the state’s GOP primary by more than 50 percentage points. Trump’s choice for Secretary of State in Georgia also lost the state’s GOP primary for that role, although the candidate, Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), lost by an overall smaller margin. Kemp and Brad Raffensperger, the latter of whom is Georgia’s current Secretary of State, both resisted pushes from Trump after the 2020 election to corruptly meddle with the outcome, sparking the ex-president’s enraged ire.

In a screed Trump released in response to an article in The New York Times questioning his political standing, he conspicuously didn’t mention Perdue. Trump also sounds more confident than would be remotely appropriate in the relevance of his successful endorsements: he’s claimed credit for Mitch McConnell getting re-elected, but sparse polling showing a close race didn’t conclusively mean Mitch would actually lose — and an endorsement from Trump didn’t automatically change the entire course of the state. The more likely scenario is a couple polls in the generally Republican-leaning state were off-base, and McConnell nonetheless won re-election.