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How much is Trump’s endorsement *actually* worth?


After all, Trump is, without question, the most popular politician among Republicans — and history has shown that he has an ability to handpick his preferred candidates in down-ballot races.

Except that, so far in 2022, Trump’s golden touch appears to have worn off. Bigly.

The latest example is former Sen. David Perdue, who is struggling in his GOP primary challenge to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp despite winning Trump’s endorsement.

As CNN’s Michael Warren and Gabby Orr reported on Wednesday:

“Perdue … has so far raised a fraction of what Kemp has in his campaign war chest. Very few Republican elected officials, operatives, donors and activists in Georgia have abandoned Kemp in favor of Perdue. And limited public polling hasn’t been promising, either.”

That’s not an isolated incident for Trump’s preferred candidates.

In Alabama, Rep. Mo Brooks has struggled to keep pace financially in the open-seat Senate race.
In Pennsylvania, the Trump-backed Sean Parnell ended his candidacy in November after his estranged wife was granted sole legal custody of their children.
In North Carolina, Trump’s surprise endorsement of Rep. Ted Budd has done little to narrow the open-seat Senate field.
And in Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski continues to far outraise Trump-endorsed challenger Kelly Tshibaka.

The question that this series of problems — or hiccups — raises is whether Trump’s endorsement is declining in value the longer he is out of office. While a majority of Republicans still recognize him to be the leader of the party, his imprimatur may well mean less than it did while he was sitting in the White House.

Trump shows no signs, however, of slowing his endorsement roll. According to Ballotpedia, he has already endorsed 98 candidates for the 2022 elections. There are undoubtedly more to come, as Trump issued more than 200 endorsements in the 2020 cycle.

The Point: You’d still rather have Donald Trump on your side than against you in a Republican primary fight. But recent data suggests that simply being endorsed by Trump is no longer sufficient to guarantee victory.


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