Primaries in the United States: things are not going well for Trump


To: 05/18/2022 18:51

Ex-President Trump would have liked to shine in the primaries for the “midterms” with a series of victories. But the Republican’s political comeback is running out of steam: his candidate has not been able to assert himself clearly in Pennsylvania.

Von Sebastian Hesse, ARD-Studio Washington

You really can’t deny Donald Trump a certain penchant for superlatives. As a result, the president who was elected would have liked to make history with his long-term strategy to retain power in his own party – and boasted the greatest winning streak of all time in the primaries “mid-term”. But the result of the “primary” in Pennsylvania shows once again that preparations for Trump’s political comeback are not going so well.

Sebastian Hesse

In the “Keystone State”, as Pennsylvania is affectionately called in the USA, Trump still has scores to settle. The incumbent Republican senator here is Pat Toomey, a sworn enemy of Trump. Toomey is one of the Republican senators who voted with Democrats for retroactive impeachment in Trump’s second impeachment trial.

Toomey does not hide the fact that he believes Trump was partly responsible for the storming of the Capitol. He can do it without risk because he is retiring in the fall. Thus, Trump’s revenge would be to replace Toomey with a “Trumper”, one who is 100% loyal to Trump.

“Midterms” and “Primaries”: what are they?

On November 8, 2022, the so-called “midterms” will take place in the United States. On this day, American citizens elect a new House of Representatives and parts of the Senate. But by then, primary elections will be held in all 50 states. In these so-called “primaries,” Democrats and Republicans decide which candidates to run. The primaries began on May 3 in Ohio and Indiana and will end on September 13 in New Hampshire.

In addition, governors will also be re-elected at midterms in 36 states. Governors are heads of state and government. To this end, party primaries will be held in the period from March 1 (Texas) to September 20 (Massachusetts).

No Trump candidate parade

The vengeful ex-president believed he had found such a “Trumper” in Mehmet Oz, a well-known television doctor in the United States. Stage name “Dr. Oz”. But that didn’t pan out: Oz is currently nearly on par with rival David McCormick, a wealthy hedge fund manager. In several constituencies, a recount must now be carried out. It may take days before the result is available.

Oz was a solution for Trump anyway. The doctor is considered by many Republicans to be too liberal, especially on the explosive issue of abortion. There’s TV footage of Oz having fun dancing with Hillary Clinton. And his Turkish background has led some of his fellow party members to question Oz’s loyalty to the United States.

Open-ended gubernatorial election

With the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Trump has the opposite problem. His favourite, Doug Mastriano, won yesterday’s race in superior fashion, but many friends in the party see him as right-wing. Mastriano was present when the Capitol was seized around January 6, 2021. He probably wasn’t in the parliament building itself, but he demonstratively supported the attempt to tip the election result in Trump’s favor. .

Trump himself took a long time to warm up to Mastriano: He only made his campaign recommendation last weekend. In the “swing state” of Pennsylvania, where traditionally moderate centrist swing voters determine the election outcome, Mastriano is likely to struggle. On the Democratic side, John Fetterman wants to move into the governor’s palace – a very unconventional contemporary with a great talent for entertainment. Pennsylvania faces exciting months of an election campaign with a completely uncertain outcome.

Trump wants to purge the party

As a result, things are not going as well for Trump as he would like. His strategy pursues several objectives: Trump wants to consolidate his power within the party by demonstrating that only those promoted by him have a career. At the same time, Trump can rid the party of those he doesn’t like – the RINOs, as he calls them: “Republicans in name only”, pseudo-Republicans. According to the motto: I decide who is a Republican.

And then there is another concrete and pragmatic objective: Trump wants to appoint governors and other decision makers who can do for him in the future what he was denied in many places in the last election: if necessary, manipulate the election results in its favor.

Ex-Vice President Pence backs Trump opponents

With what the transition to the next primary, which will take place next Tuesday in Georgia, would have been successful: Trump had already pressured Interior Secretary Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, in the last election to get him a somehow the missing 11,780 votes Trump needed to win the election were missing. The right Raffensperger did not want to play along, nor did his boss, Governor Brian Kemp, also a Republican. Kemp and Raffensperger now want to be re-elected – and the vengeful Trump has the opposing candidates on their necks.

And to make it even more explosive: former Trump vice president Mike Pence is demonstratively supportive of Brian Kemp. Pence, too, had not caved to Trump’s insistence on turning the election in his favor. And so, this year’s “primaries” among Republicans are much more than just primaries: they reflect the bitter power struggle within the GOP, the “Grand Old Party,” that has raged since Trump took office. been eliminated.

Maryland Governor and Trump critic Larry Hogan, who is also running for re-election, put it this way: This year’s “primaries” will decide the “battle for the soul of the party.” After Pennsylvania, this fight remains open.

Pennsylvania primaries: No winning streak for ex-President Trump

Sebastian Hesse, ARD Washington, 18.5.2022 17:55 Uhr

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