Donald Trump has proven that his support can make or break this year’s midterm elections. So far primary polls of three states — Ohio, Indiana and Texas — have reflected that the former President has held onto his clout.

The former President backed 22 candidates in total in Tuesday’s primary elections in Indiana and Ohio. All 22 won. These include both open seats in the House of Representatives and those up for re-election. 

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Most of the candidates that received Trump’s endorsement before the elections were politicians who were incumbents and were up for re-election. The candidates running for the first time received most of Trump’s attention during rallies.

The former President also carried his share of baggage. Republican candidates who went against Trump in the January 6 Capitol attack case did not receive his endorsement. And those who supported him at the time were given special attention.

Two of the most high-level electoral races on Tuesday were for the Ohio governor’s office and one of Indiana’s US Senate seats. Republican governor Mike DeWine and Senator Todd Young did not receive any backing from Trump. Both officials had blamed the former President for the Capitol attack.

The game-changing endorsements

Trump’s chosen candidate, ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author and an investment banker JD Vance, won the crowded Republican primary for US Senate in Ohio, giving Trump a strong beginning to primary season.

Vance, former State Treasurer Josh Mandel, businessman Mike Gibbons and former state GOP chair Jane Timken all vied for Trump’s endorsement, increasingly adopting language that mirrored the former president’s bombastic, populist style.

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In the end, Trump went with Vance, who in 2016 said the celebrity businessman could become “America’s Hitler” but has since become an avid supporter.

Vance wooed the former president by echoing his bashing of immigrants, skepticism about U.S. military involvement overseas — even in support of Ukraine — and lies about Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election.