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In North Carolina, the former president’s pick for the US Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen Richard Burr, a Republican, is Ted Budd who according to most polling holds a comfortable lead over Pat McCrory, his closest competitor and the state’s former govenor.
Madison Cawthorn, the embattled first-term congressman who has been buried under a heap of scandals surrounding his alcohol use and comments about fellow GOP members of Congress in recent months, is also hoping to prevail in the contested primary for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district. He also remains in the lead, according to sparse polling, though his support has plumeted as he became embroiled in a spat with Republican leadership in the House.
Pennsylvania is another test of the former president’s political strength as he has put his support behind Dr Mehmet Oz, celebrity TV doctor and political newcomer who hopes to capture the GOP’s nomination to succeed retiring Sen Pat Toomey. On the Democratic side, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is expected to coast to victory easily in the purple state won by Mr Trump in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020 over his opponents Conor Lamb and Malcolm Kenyatta. The no. 2 in Gov Tom Wolf’s administration suffered a mild stroke over the weekend, but has vowed to remain in the race and return to the campaign trail for the general election after a short rest.
ICYMI: Madison Cawthorn says he’s being treated unfairly
Embattled congressman Madison Cawthorn has blamed many of the scandals he faces on opposition from the DC establishment, which he has accused of opposing his efforts to support Donald Trump in Washington.
But many of his more recent negative headlines stem from decisions he made in his personal life that have come back to bite him.
Read more in The Independent:
North Carolina congressman is battling his own party both in public and private
Barnette slams frontrunner Dr Oz for insufficient Trump support on eve of primary
Kathy Barnette is focusing her fire on Dr Oz as the final hours of the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania tick down.
In a tweet posted on Monday afternoon, Ms Barnette questioned why the Trump-loving Mehmet Oz had not voted in the 2018 midterm elections, when Democrats took control of the House.
Less-watched race in Oregon will be test of Biden’s endorsement
A congressman running for his eighth term in the House will face a test on Tuesday to prove whether President Joe Biden’s endorsement is enough to make a difference in his race against Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a progressive who has vowed to support Mr Biden’s agenda if she beats his favoured candidate tomorrow.
Rep Kurt Schrader was the first candidate endorsed by the president in 2022, but sparse polls have indicated that his primary race could be close.
Read more in The Associated Press:
A new round of primary elections across the U.S. this week is exposing heightened tensions within the Democratic Party
AP analysis: Voters returning to in-person polling stations
The vote-by-mail craze that was sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic is “receding”, according to The Associated Press.
Primary elections in four states including Georgia and Ohio, which recently held elections, have all shown a massive trend towards in-person voting as the US’s handling of the pandemic has shifted dramatically towards favouring a return to normal life, even as the US has just passed 1 million dead from the virus.
Read more in the AP:
Kathy Barnette’s campaign for the open US Senate seat in Pennsylvania is facing another roadbloack: News that the candidate herself was in Washington DC to support the protests on January 6 that eventually led to a siege of the US Capitol.
She does not have Donald Trump’s endorsement in the Pennsylvania Senate race but the far-right darling is surging behind frontrunner Dr Mehmet Oz in recent polling and is now within striking distance of winning the primary. Her campaign confirmed that she was in Washington DC on January 6, where she was seen marching alongside members of the far-right Proud Boys group, but denied that she had committed any illegal acts.
“Kathy was in DC to support President Trump and demand election accountability. Any assertion that she participated in or supported the destruction of property is intentionally false. She has no connection whatsoever to the proud boys,” her campaign said.
Read more from The Independent’s Eric Garcia:
The Pennsylvania Senate candidate has surged in the polls ahead of this week’s primary
New poll shows Dr Oz could be in trouble
A new poll from Emerson College measuring favorability ratings of GOP candidates in the state’s US Senate primary is out, and it spells bad news for Dr Mehmet Oz, the current presumed-frontrunner who now is clinging on to a lead in some polling by only a few points.
In the poll, Dr Oz was the only candidate in the race underwater with voters in terms of his overall popularity, regardless of whether they actually plan to vote for him on Tuesday. That spells trouble not just for the primary but also for November, when the GOP nominee will face a Democrat, likely the state’s Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, for the Senate seat in a state Joe Biden won over Donald Trump in 2020.
ICYMI: Stroke disrupts John Fetterman’s Senate bid
The frontrunner in Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary is John Fetterman, the bigger-than-life lieutenant governor who holds a commanding lead over two other opponents in the race.
Over the weekend he announced that he had suffered a mild stroke and was hospitalised, but remained determined to return to the campaign trail shortly.
“[O]ur campaign isn’t slowing down one bit, and we are still on track to win this primary on Tuesday, and flip this Senate seat in November. Thanks for all the support, and please get out there and vote,” Mr Fetterman declared on Sunday.
Read more in The Independent:
‘The good news is I’m feeling much better, and the doctors tell me I didn’t suffer any cognitive damage. I’m well on my way to a full recovery. So I have a lot to be thankful for’
Will Kathy Barnette surge to victory in Pennsylvania?
The biggest name in Pennsylvania’s Senate primary on the Republican side over the weekend was not Dr Oz, nor was it his top rival David McCormick, who many expected to win Donald Trump’s endorsement.
Instead it was Kathy Barnette, an underdog in the race who has surged to striking distance of winning the primary in recent days and now sits in second place behind Mehmet Oz, the Trump-endorsed celebrity TV doctor and frontrunner, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls that puts Dr Oz at 26 per cent at Ms Barnette at 23.4 per cent.
The victory by Ms Barnette in the primary would be a shocking come-from-behind win by a far-right wing candidate who has espoused falsehoods about Barack Obama and his religious beliefs and who was in Washington DC on the day the Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters.
Read more about her past comments in The Independent from Andrew Feinberg:
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Kathy Barnette was asked about several of the offensive tweets
Trump issues last-minute plea for Madison Cawthorn
Madison Cawthorn is trying to hold on to his House seat, which he has held for one term, in North Carolina’s newly-redrawn 11th congressional district.
The embattled congressman faces the wrath of his party leadership and one member of his state’s congressional delegation, GOP Senator Thom Tillis, is openly backing his top challenger Chuck Edwards.
Mr Cawthorn’s campaign has largely abstained from in-person events amid the ever-growing list of scandals, which expanded last month to include his comments about fellow House members accusing them of doing cocaine and inviting him to orgies.
But he does have one major advantage over Mr Edwards: The support of Donald Trump, who on Monday implored voters to “give Madison a second chance” ahead of Tuesday’s primary.
Read more in The Independent:
Ex-president’s statement swipes at first-term congressman’s ‘foolish’ mistakes
Voters are heading to the polls on Tuesday in Kentucky, Oregon, Idaho, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Donald Trump’s power within the Republican Party will be tested once again, while Democratic voters will decide who they think is best to stand against the president’s chosen nominees in November.
Follow along for more updates.