Trump-backed contenders win Republican nod for Michigan, Kansas governor

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon speaks at a primary election party in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon speaks at a primary election party in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. | Photo Credit: AP

Tudor Dixon, a conservative commentator who has echoed Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, on Tuesday won Michigan's Republican nomination for governor, as voters in five States chose candidates for November's midterm elections.

Ms. Dixon, who received Mr. Trump's endorsement last week, prevailed over a crowded field of contenders, Edison Research projected, and will face Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in one of the fall's most high-profile races.

Elsewhere, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, another candidate backed by the former president, secured the Republican nomination for governor, while early returns showed a majority of voters in support of protecting abortion rights statewide.

Mr. Schmidt will face Democratic Governor Laura Kelly in November in what is expected to be a highly competitive race.

Tuesday's elections represent the latest test of Mr. Trump's sway over the Republican electorate, including key contests in Arizona, Missouri and Washington State. Several Trump-backed candidates have embraced the former president's falsehoods about voter fraud, raising concerns among some Republicans that they could be too extreme to defeat Democrats on Nov. 8.

Two Republican U.S. representatives who voted to impeach Mr. Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by Mr. Trump supporters, Peter Meijer of Michigan and Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington, also faced Trump-endorsed primary challengers.

Kansas voters were deciding whether to amend the State constitution to allow the Republican-controlled legislature to ban or limit abortion, the first such ballot initiative since the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated the nationwide right to abortion in June.

With more than one-third of the estimated vote counted, more than 60% of voters had backed abortion rights, according to Edison.

With an economy teetering on the brink of recession and inflation surging, just 38% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden's job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Tuesday - still near Mr. Biden's record low of 36%, hit in May. One in three voters said the biggest problem facing the United States today is the economy.

Mr. Biden's unpopularity is weighing on Democrats heading into the November general election when Republicans are favored to win control of the House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate.

Control of either chamber would give Republicans the power to stymie Biden's legislative agenda while launching politically damaging hearings.

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Printable version | Aug 28, 2022 10:47:18 am |