Biggest Test in Tuesday's Voting: Trump's Clout

Former president is backing Bernie Moreno in Tuesday's Ohio contest
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2024 12:50 PM CDT
Biggest Test in Tuesday's Voting: Trump's Clout
Donald Trump, left, listens as Senate candidate Bernie Moreno speaks at a campaign rally on Saturday in Vandalia, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Jeff Dean, File)

It's another voting day in a handful of states, and the big race to watch is the GOP primary in Ohio for Senate. For one thing, the race will have national implications come November when the winner faces off against incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown. For another, the race is seen as a big test of Donald Trump's endorsement clout. Details:

  • Ohio: In the Senate primary, Trump has backed businessman Bernie Moreno in a race against state Sen. Matt Dolan and Secretary of State Frank LaRose. As USA Today notes, Trump has a strong endorsement track record in strongly red states, but a spottier one in competitive states such as Ohio. "You gotta win, Bernie," Trump said at an Ohio rally over the weekend. "Don't leave me alone. Don't leave me alone, Bernie."

  • 3 more Trump races: Politico lists three more congressional primaries to watch as a test of Trump's clout. He has backed incumbent Mike Bost in Illinois, state Rep. Derek Merrin in Ohio, and state Rep. Vince Fong in California's special election to fill the seat of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
  • Tricky race: In the aforementioned Illinois race, Trump may have endorsed Bost, but Bost faces a more conservative candidate in Darren Bailey, who is an "ardent pro-Trump Republican," per the New York Times. "Bailey is running to Bost's right, so the vote will test whether the most conservative voters support the more conservative candidate—or if Trump's imprimatur is enough to keep them in the fold," per Politico.
  • Six states: Voters in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio will head to the polls, per the AP.
(More Election 2024 stories.)

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