Donald Trump’s endorsement clearly isn’t what it used to be. Just look at Kari Lake

Opinion: This week’s elections have shown that Donald Trump may not be able to deliver a win for Kari Lake. But Matt Salmon can.

By Laurie Roberts | Arizona Republic

Mehmet Oz, the Trump-endorsed candidate, deadlocked in a Senate race too close to call in Pennsylvania.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, dumped by North Carolina voters despite Donald Trump’s plea that he be given a second chance.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, crushing his Trump-endorsed opponent in a state Trump owned in 2020.

And in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp, holding a 30-point lead over his Trump-endorsed challenger, former Sen. David Perdue, going into next week’s primary election.

It’s enough to give Kari Lake chills. Or it would be, if only she didn’t have her ace in the hole, Matt Salmon.

A Trump endorsement isn’t what it used to be

This week’s primary elections showed that a Trump endorsement isn’t what it used to be, certainly not one that command a majority of the party’s voters.

“The message is that Trump delivers 30% to maybe 35% of the electorate,” longtime Republican consultant Chuck Coughlin told me. “That’s not enough.”

Even Trump seems to recognize his waning influence. CNN is reporting that the former president may hold off on making more primary endorsements given this week’s losses.

“He’ll be a lot more selective for sure,” a former Trump campaign official told the cable network.

Of course, it’s not all bad news for Trump.

J.D. Vance, his anointed Senate candidate in Ohio, won a crowded Republican primary earlier this month. Trump also racked up a V this week with Rep. Tim Budd’s win in a three-way North Carolina Senate primary.

His guy, state Rep. Doug Mastriano won a crowded  Republican Pennsylvania governor’s race. 

But Trump’s endorsement in that race came late, when Mastriano was already ahead in the polls. And Mastriano won with the help of Democrats who see the state’s loudest election denier as the easiest to beat in a general election. (Democrats actually sent out mailers boosting him.)

Kari Lake may be the GOP’s best chance to lose

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