Donald Trump may have vacated the White House in early 2020, but he was often considered to be the most influential Republican even beyond his presidency. His clout is now being put to test as the midterm elections in the United States are right around the corner.
The former President started placing his bets across the country and projected support for multiple individuals and covered a large range, from the United States Senate to state administration. While some of the bets have already started showing signs of paying back, others have already taken sunk so deep that Trump was forced to retract his endorsement.
Georgia: Trump’s main battleground
David Perdue, a former United States Senator and a current candidate for the gubernatorial polls of Georgia, is one of the biggest bets placed by Trump this year. The Georgia primaries, scheduled for May 24, will see Brian Kemp as the key challenger to Perdue.
The campaign is emerging as an early, critical test of whether the former president can live up to his professed role as a kingmaker in the GOP.
Trump returns to Georgia on Saturday night for a rally with football legend Herschel Walker, Perdue, Vernon Jones and other Republicans he has already endorsed for the upcoming polls.
Which choices did not work out for the former President?
Mo Brooks, who is a candidate in United States Senate primaries of Alabama, has been presented as a sore point for Trump. Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he will no longer be endorsing Reprenstaitve Mo Brooks in this year’s Alabama Senate race. Brooks was tagged as “disloyal and woke” and was slammed by Trump for not supporting his voter fraud claims.
Trump’s backing is a valuable campaign asset for Brooks in a state where Trump won 62% of the vote in the last presidential contest and remains deeply popular with Republicans. Any wavering by Trump would be seen as a blow to Brooks’ campaign.
A ghost from the past from Trump
Mike Pence, who was Trump’s Vice President, may not be directly connected to the upcoming primaries but has a big role in determining Trump’s influence on the GOP.
Pence was often seen not responding to any of Trump’s controversial statements, however, things started to change after the January 6 Capitol riots. Not only did Pence criticised the incident, but he is also beginning to distance himself from Trump as he takes increasingly overt steps toward a White House bid of his own.