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Trump’s Attempt to Defeat Good Ends in a Nailbiter: Five Things to Remember from Tuesday’s Primary

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Among the standouts of Tuesday night’s primaries were the incredibly close races in Virginia and Georgia and Oklahoma, two crucial races. The GOP primary for Rep. Bob Good’s seat in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District has drawn a lot of attention from observers, who saw that it had become one of the most turbulent of the cycle thus far. Good and his opponent were separated by hundreds of votes as of late Tuesday night, making the election too close to declare. Donald Trump and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) were trying to make Good the first incumbent to fall to an outside candidate. In the meanwhile, Rep. Tom Cole (R) survived many primary opponents in Oklahoma to secure the GOP nomination, while Democrats in Virginia struggled with their own contentious primary.

Five things may be learned from Tuesday night’s primaries:

1. Trump’s Seeking Retribution Resulted in a Nail biter

      Going into his primary on Tuesday night against Virginia state senator John McGuire, Good, the chairman of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, was seen by many as a dead man walking, especially because Good had fallen out of favor with Trump. However, as midnight drew near, the contenders were drawing even, making the contest too close to declare. It would be a huge upset and a humiliating loss for both Trump and McCarthy if Good prevails in the end.

      When the incumbent supported Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican presidential candidacy in the previous year, it infuriated Trump. Good eventually backed Trump after DeSantis withdrew from the campaign, but the former president contended that the support was too little, too late. Consequently, after Good voted to remove the former Speaker last year, Trump poured his support behind McGuire, who also had the support of McCarthy’s Majority Committee PAC.

      With some ballots being returned by mail and a potential recount later this week, it’s unclear who will win in the end. It may take days before the race results are announced. It is certain, though, that Good’s main has developed into one of the cycle’s most intense and memorable matches to date.

      2. A Senate Matchup Under the Radar Is Confirmed

      In Virginia’s GOP Senate race, retired Navy Captain Hung Cao handily defeated four other Republicans to win. In November, Cao will take against Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the incumbent, in a contest that is anticipated to be difficult for Republicans. The seat is rated as “solid Democrat” by the impartial Cook Political Report. Republicans, however, are encouraged by President Biden’s concessions in the commonwealth, which raises the prospect of an upset farther down the ballot.

      Still, defeating Kaine won’t be simple. Kaine’s CV includes positions as mayor of Richmond, lieutenant governor of Virginia, and senator from 2013 until the present. In addition, he was running partner for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest and chair of the Democratic National Committee.

      Republicans had high hopes for Cao since he is a well-known figure in Virginia politics. In 2022, he ran against Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) in Virginia’s 10th Congressional area, but was unsuccessful since redistricting left the area even more blue-leaning. Republicans cite fresh Virginia polling that reveals Biden and Trump are in a closer contest than anticipated. In a poll conducted by Fox News earlier this month, the two were tied at 48% of respondents. Furthermore, according to the Decision Desk HQ polling average from The Hill, Trump is just 0.2 percent ahead of Biden.

      Democrats, who have won Virginia in presidential elections since former President Obama took office in 2008, should take great concern from the polls. Republicans, however, claim that the polls indicate that Trump and Cao have a chance in the state.

      3. A Ugly Democratic Primary Ends

      In the Democratic primary, state senator Suhas Subramanyam (D) of Virginia defeated eleven other contenders to take Wexton’s seat in the 10th Congressional District of Virginia. Wexton’s endorsement of Subramanyam gave him a boost ahead of the crowded primary. Several prominent Virginia Democrats competed in the intraparty race, including former Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn (D), state Senator Jennifer Boysko (D), and former Secretary of Education of Virginia Atif Qarni.

      Del. Dan Helmer (D) and Subramanyam faced off in the contest on Tuesday, with Subramanyam winning 30.3 percent to 26.7 percent. The last few days of the race were especially unpleasant due to accusations of sexual harassment against Helmer. He has refuted the accusations. In November, Subramanyam will take against Republican Mike Clancey. The district, which encompasses a number of suburbs and exurbs of Washington, D.C., is more Democratic than Republican. Biden carried the district by 19 points in 2020, while Wexton won reelection in the area by more than six points in 2022.

      4. An additional Jan. Six Candidates Lose

      A candidate found guilty of a misdemeanor connected to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, lost in a runoff election in Georgia that was viewed as the most recent gauge of the public’s readiness to back a politician associated with the uprising. Chuck Hand, a Republican who entered a guilty plea for breaking the law on January 6th, and former Trump administration official Wayne Johnson finished second in the first primary held last month.

      However, Johnson easily defeated incumbent Democrat Rep. Sanford Bishop, who has served 16 terms, by double digits in Tuesday’s top-two race. Johnson will face Bishop in November. Hand is one of the few candidates associated with January 6 who have run for Congress this cycle, over three years after the Capitol riots; nonetheless, they have not fared well in the primary elections thus far. Nevertheless, political analysts claim that backing for their campaigns, like as the 35% Hand received on Tuesday, indicates that some Republicans are ignoring their beliefs from January 6. This is particularly true given that Trump has praised “J6 warriors” throughout the campaign trail and downplayed his own legal troubles as being driven by politics.

      5. There are divisions between the two parties

      The differences between the Republican and Democratic parties were exposed during Tuesday’s primaries. Republicans and conservatives in Virginia’s 5th District disagreed on whether or not to endorse Good and McGuire. While McCarthy and Trump were unified in their desire for retribution against Good, other politicians such as Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) as well as former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, backed the incumbent congressman.

      In the 10th District, Virginia Democrats held their own bitter primary that saw prominent Democrats from the state competing against one another. While Wexton supported Subramanyam, former governor Ralph Northam (D) supported Filler-Corn. However, intraparty splits were not unique to Virginia. Rep. Tom Cole (R) beat businessman Paul Bondar in Oklahoma with ease, winning by double digits. Bondar, who campaigned on the right of Cole, called for the impeachment of Biden, stricter immigration laws, and a reduction in funding for Ukraine. Thanks to a $5 million loan from him to Bondar’s campaign, Bondar was able to outraise Cole during the primary. For almost two decades, Cole has occupied the position.

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