Opinion

Britt’s Alabama Primary Victory: Why a Trump Endorsement is a Tricky Thing

President Donald Trump reacts during the final presidential debate at Belmont University, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn., with Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden Trump-endorsed Katie Britt defeated Donald’s former protégé Mo Brooks in the Alabama GOP Senate runoff. What does this say about the power of Trump’s endorsement ahead of the November midterms?US politician, attorney and businesswoman Katie Britt has been named the Republican nominee for Alabama’s open Senate seat after she defeated Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) with over 67% of the vote.Britt announced her run for Senate in June 2021 when former President Donald Trump still backed her competitor, Brooks. However, after Brooks called on voters to turn the page on the 2020 election which Trump sees as “rigged”, the ex-president shifted the goalposts and endorsed Britt on 11 June.”I’m thinking in Alabama, Trump was just looking for a winner,” explained Michael Shannon, a political commentator and Newsmax columnist. “But I think Trump was right in March when he called Britt a lackey. She is funded by Trump’s political enemy, curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. She’s never had a real job, and I predict that she will pretend to be a MAGA [Make America Great Again] candidate as long as it’s convenient.”Shannon argued that Trump’s Britt endorsement is “almost as bad as his endorsement of Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania,” referring to Donald’s backing of Mehmet Oz.© AP Photo / Elise AmendolaDr. Oz watches play during the women’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships, in this file photo from Sept. 11, 2021, in New York. Mehmet Oz is running in the wide-open race for the Pennsylvania seat being vacated by two-term Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. The race has attracted wealthy and well-connected transplants, and homers.Dr. Oz watches play during the women’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships, in this file photo from Sept. 11, 2021, in New York. Mehmet Oz is running in the wide-open race for the Pennsylvania seat being vacated by two-term Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. The race has attracted wealthy and well-connected transplants, and homers.Oz, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Pennsylvania, capitalized heavily on Trump’s backing with his political ads on guns, abortion and energy all starting with the phrase “endorsed by President Trump.” Axios media outlet noted that Oz’s Twitter account mentioned Trump more than 70 times between the 9 April endorsement and 17 May primary vote. However, after winning the GOP nomination, the Oz campaign stopped mentioning or including footage of Trump entirely.Still, the Trump endorsement is not a 100% guarantee of victory, Shannon noted. According to Axios’ Trump Endorsement Tracker, in the recent primaries seven Trump-endorsed Senate primary candidates have won and none have lost so far out of nine endorsements. For the House, 12 endorsed candidates have won and five have lost of 27, and when it comes to statewide offices, eight have won and six have lost out of 21. About two dozen competitive races are still in progress.”As for his endorsement, you know, he has not had an unblemished record of endorsements in Nebraska; his candidate lost the same thing in Idaho and in Georgia, David Perdue,” explained Shannon. “He also had some endorsements in Georgia that did not turn out. It’s better to have it [his endorsement] than not have it, but it’s not a guarantee of electoral success.”© AP Photo / Evan VucciPresident Donald Trump speaks with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he arrives at Southwest Florida International Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Fort Myers, Fla.President Donald Trump speaks with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he arrives at Southwest Florida International Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Fort Myers, Fla.The conservative journalist also argued that instead of throwing his hat into the ring for 2024, Trump should focus on “finding, recruiting and funding primary challengers to swamp incumbents in both the Senate and the House.” At the same time, however, Shannon does not see many worthy presidential Republican alternatives to Trump.”Right now Trump runs the party on a nationwide basis,” the political commentator said. “The only alternative that I think is the real alternative is [Florida Governor] Ron DeSantis. But I don’t know that Ron DeSantis could beat him in a primary. However, I do think he needs to run against Trump in the primary just because Trump needs to have his political muscles, his political training, upped, and a strong primary challenger would do that.”Donald Trump has yet to make it clear whether he will run in 2024. His advisers teased the public by saying that the former president could announce a third presidential bid this summer.Previously, Trump has remarked that a lot depends on the outcome of the November midterms. To date, a plethora of observers have predicted a profound defeat for the Democratic Party this November, with the Dems expected to lose their slim majority in the US Congress, converting Biden into a “lame duck” president. The incumbent president’s approval ratings have been in free fall since the botched Afghanistan withdrawal in 2021, with the country continuing to suffer from disrupted supply chains, skyrocketing gasoline prices, galloping inflation and looming recession.

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