Is Donald Trump losing control of Trumpism?

Donald Trump is a gamer. He must therefore take advantage of the primaries for the “midterms” in the fall. The former president wants to demonstrate that he is the undisputed kingmaker of his party. Republicans who had hoped the soon-to-be 76-year-old would overplay his cards have so far been disappointed. But has he played now?

majid satar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

In Ohio, in early May, shortly before the date of the primary elections, Trump had bet on the author of the book JD Vance, who came third in the polls – against the advice of his confidants. Ultimately, with Trump’s help, Vance leapfrogged his peers and will run for the open Senate seat in November. Trump had shown it to everyone once again.

The primaries in Pennsylvania, the mother of all “swing states,” will take place on Tuesday. For a long time, two men dominated the field of candidates seeking to replace Republican Senator Pat Toomey: David McCormick, a retired hedge fund manager, and Mehmet Oz, a Turkish-American TV doctor with controversial medical views, seemed be the losers to kissing.

McCormick also courted Trump’s favor

McCormick represents the party establishment, or what’s left of it. He, too, was courting Trump’s campaign recommendation and even traveled to Mar-a-Lago for a hearing. Trump, however, spoke for the “Dr. Oz” TV star. After Jan. 6, 2021, before deciding to enter the Senate race, McCormick said Trump shared responsibility for taking the Capitol. The former president is now scolding him for a “left-wing liberal Republican on Wall Street.”

The Pennsylvania area code is one of the most expensive in the country. Republicans spent $51 million on advertising alone. And while “Dr. Oz” and McCormick battled with negative TV spots, suddenly a third candidate joined the leadership duo: Kathy Barnette, a 50-year-old African American who had previously made headlines with homophobic and Islamophobic positions.

Kathy Barnette could be dangerous for competitors

Accepting homosexuality, she once said, ultimately leads to accepting incest and pedophilia. She compared Islam to the worldviews of Hitler and Stalin. She doesn’t really want to remember that now. She prefers to talk about abortion these days. Her mother was raped when she was eleven and gave birth to Kathy when she was twelve. In a moving ad, she recounts of her mother’s decision not to terminate the pregnancy: “It wasn’t about the agency. My life was on the line.” Barnette’s life story, who grew up on a farm in Alabama – apparently without running water – suddenly interested a lot of people.

Kathy Barnette is a Pennsylvania primary candidate.  She could threaten the two previous favorites.  now Trump is shooting at them.

Kathy Barnette is a Pennsylvania primary candidate. She could threaten the two previous favorites. now Trump is shooting at them.

Image: AFP

Polls suggest Barnette “Dr. Oz” and McCormick could turn dangerous, even though she has a relatively meager campaign budget. So dangerous that Trump is now at a rally where he was chanted “Dr. Oz” said: Barnette will never be able to win the general election in November. Has Trump lost control of Trumpism? The former president suddenly sounded like his inside party critics, who accused him of supporting people who didn’t stand a chance in the highly competitive political center of Pennsylvania.

To the surprise of many, Trump then spoke for Doug Mastriano, who wants to run for governor in November. He has a good chance of receiving the Republican candidacy, which of course explains Trump’s electoral recommendation. Should he start with “Dr. Oz” ended up missing out in the senator race, he’d still have a trophy to show for Mastriano. After all, Trump is only talking about one thing: he wants to show that he is still number one in the party and thus keep the possibility of running again in 2024.

Some former loyalists, meanwhile, are positioning themselves. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supports McCormick in Pennsylvania. And Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president, is campaigning in Georgia, where elections are held in late May, for the re-election as governor of Brian Kemp – the man who opposed Trump after the 2020 presidential election and helped secure Joe Biden’s election victory.

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