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Five takeaways from Tuesday’s election

The day after FBI agents searched his home in Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald J. Trump once again illustrated his electoral appeal to the Republican Party.

In a series of primaries in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont and Connecticut on Tuesday — and in a new conceded race from last week’s Washington state election — Mr. Trump’s candidates took victories and his enemies suffered defeats, with one notable exception. .

Republican voters in Wisconsin and Minnesota have put up a roster of nominees who made baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and staged major battles in the fall over the future of fair elections in critical battlefield states. And in Connecticut, Trump-backed Senate candidate Leora Levy defeated a moderate Republican, Themis Klarides.

Here are five takeaways.

Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers would always get in trouble.

He faced a possible confrontation with Tim Michels, a millionaire construction magnate backed by Mr. Trump, or Rebecca Kleefisch, the state lieutenant governor who had the backing of former Vice President Mike Pence. On Tuesday night, Mr. Evers learned that his Republican rival would be Mr. Michels, the latest victor in the nationwide power struggle between Trump Republicans and incumbent Republicans.

Mr Michels may not be the best on the podium but he has money to put into his race. And he could go after not only Mr. Evers, but also the other favorite target of Wisconsin Republicans, President Biden. It was Mr. Biden who canceled the contract to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which Mr. Michel’s company would build.

The election campaign is likely to be one of the most dramatic in the country.

Mr Evers, who has portrayed himself as a defender of fair elections, has vetoed more than a dozen state laws that would have restricted voting. Mr Michels has pushed the false notion that the 2020 elections can still be withdrawn and has pledged to abolish the state election commission.

Mr Michels has campaigned to crack down on crime. On Tuesday, that position did not apply to the former president. He called the search of Mr Trump’s Florida home an “overzealous prosecution” and dismissed the possibility that Mr Trump had committed a crime.

Robin Vos, the chairman of the Wisconsin Assembly, lost to a low-profile candidate on Tuesday, all thanks to a Trump endorsement. The near miss for Mr. Fox, the most powerful Republican in Wisconsin politics, shows how crucial that approval can be in the land of cheese and election rejection.

The race between Mr. Fox and Adam Steen in the Republican primary for a seat in the Wisconsin Assembly was tighter than virtually all Wisconsin analysts predicted, although Mr. Fox is an 18-year-old incumbent chairman who has been a speaker for a decade and grew up in the district. Mr. Steen is from Indiana and had no paid ads other than a little bit of mailings, but he had Mr Trump’s support and the claim that he would work to take back the 10 votes of the state’s electoral college from 2020, a legal impossibility.

Mr Steen’s far-right views went far beyond election denial. In an interview, he also said he would try to make contraception illegal in Wisconsin.

In a state that has won the last two presidential elections by razor thin margins, Democrats in Wisconsin have some cause for optimism.

Some of that has to do with sweeping legislation, covering climate change and prescription drug prices, which is on track to pass by November. Part of it has to do with the energy that Democratic voters have about abortion rights. And some of it, in Wisconsin, has to do with Mandela Barnes, the state’s lieutenant governor.

Mr. Barnes – a former Milwaukee community organizer – won the Democratic nomination in a Senate race to face Republican incumbent Senator Ron Johnson. Mr. Barnes’ win sets up a heated general election race that could help decide control of the Senate. Barnes, Wisconsin’s first black lieutenant governor, would be the first black senator if he won.

A test for Mr. Barnes will be whether he can raise his fundraising level. He’s going into the general election with nearly $1 million in cash, according to the latest federal election returns. For Mr. Johnson, that number was over $2 million.

Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, all but one’s fate is now sealed. Four refused to run for another term, two others survived their primaries and three lost.

In Washington state, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, who sharply criticized Mr Trump’s actions in the run-up to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack, became the third Republican in the House to lose after admitting her race on Tuesday. with a statement. “I am proud to have always told the truth, held to my principles and did what I knew was best for our country,” she said.

The 10th House Republican who voted to impeach former president, Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, will hold her primary on August 16 next week. She has long since stopped seeing the election as a test of political survival, instead using it as a way to make her case against Mr. Trump and restore a party she sees as “very sick”.

Representative Ilhan Omar, one of the most prominent lawmakers in Congress, survived her Minnesota Democratic primary while running for a third term, making her the newest member of the progressive group known as the “squad” to take her seat this year. to defend.

Don Samuels, a former Minneapolis city councilor and school administrator, lost by two percentage points in a hard-fought race in Minnesota’s fifth congressional district. Mr. Samuels ran like a centrist challenging her on police issues. He had the support of part of the Democratic establishment and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

Mrs. Omar’s win over Mr. Samuels makes her the third member of the “squad” to knock back the primary challengers. The other two were Representatives Cori Bush of Missouri and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Two other members—Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts—did not draw primary opponents this cycle. A sixth member, New York Representative Jamaal Bowman, will face three primary challengers later this month.

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