Tuesday’s primaries saw a number of key races. Some pitted Trump-backed candidates against more traditional conservatives while others had nationwide implications for voters’ feelings on social issues.
Missouri’s US Senate Primary
In a race that saw former President Donald Trump make a last-minute endorsement for “Eric”, the first name of both frontrunners, Schmitt prevailed over the maligned Greitens, who was plagued by scandals during his campaign.
After receiving a barrage of radio and television attacks from political organizations backed by GOP establishment leaders, who vilified him for his domestic abuse accusations and a trade mission he undertook to China, Greitens began to falter.
Trump had debated supporting Greitens for months, but he privately confided to allies that he was worried about the sex scandal, which contributed to Greitens’ removal from office in 2018. Additionally, he was worried by claims made this year by the ex-wife of the former governor that he had physically mistreated both her and their young son.
Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District Primary
After a close campaign, Trump-endorsed John Gibbs defeated incumbent Representative Peter Meijer.
The contest tested the influence of former president Trump’s endorsement, which Gibbs obtained after adopting the MAGA platform and endorsing conspiracy theories about the “stolen” 2020 election.
Meijer, on the other hand, was one of 10 Republicans who voted to remove Trump from office because to his involvement in the incident at the Capitol on January 6. That action appeared to hurt his chances of winning the election.
Meijer also suffered from a scheme by Democratic operatives spending money to support his opponent and start an ad campaign portraying him as the less conservative option.
Arizona’s US Senate Primary
Political outsider Blake Masters was called the winner for his race, eventually taking a 10-point lead over fellow businessman Jim Lamon.
Masters is a protégé of Silicon Valley millionaire, proponent of the free market, and anti-regulation Peter Thiel.
Thiel’s pledge of $10 million to a political action committee that would support Masters kicked off his campaign. He went on to invest at least $15 million over time to aid Masters. Thiel offered similar support to J.D. Vance, the Republican candidate for the Ohio Senate.
Trump’s endorsement of Masters in June helped him gain a 14-point lead in the race for the Senate seat in polls leading up to election day.
Arizona’s Governor Primary
After hours of too-close-to-call vote counting, Trump-backed Kari Lake pulled ahead of her opponent Karrin Taylor Robson, who had the support of former Vice President Mike Pence.
The two campaigned for their candidates in competing headliner events just a week and a half before the election.
Former Phoenix-area TV anchor Lake ran for office on hardline GOP issues like militarizing the border with Mexico, closing abortion facilities, and outlawing voting machines. Keeping with Trump, Lake also expressed serious doubts about the 2020 election’s validity.
Kansas’ Constitutional Amendment on Abortion
The biggest shock of the night, overwhelmingly conservative Kansas rejected a proposed amendment to its state’s constitution that would have allowed legislators to restrict or ban abortion.
The vote was closely monitored by the political sphere as a measure of voter feelings toward the nationwide right to abortion being overturned, and the no vote surely sends a deep shock through conservative circles.
Kansas is a closed primary state, which means voters must be affiliated with a party to participate in its primary elections. Unaffiliated voters can only vote on nonpartisan issues like referendums. Despite the limited ballot, unaffiliated and Independent voter turnout was enormous, showing the potential of single-issue abortion voters to impact midterm general elections.