Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) should have plenty of time for hiking now. He lost yesterday’s primary for South Carolina’s first congressional district to state representative Katie Arrington, multiple outlets report.
Many are pointing out Sanford’s frequent criticisms of President Trump as the reason why he lost, though his own past personal controversies probably didn’t help, either.
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
Fox News’ take on Sanford’s loss theorizes that Trump’s voters are maintaining their loyalty to him and will continue to do so come this November, though only time will show if that holds:
“Arrington’s shock win was also a dramatic rebuke of Sanford’s heated “Never Trump”-style rhetoric and scandal-pocked career. It signaled that the president’s base in the state remains solidly behind him ahead of November’s midterm elections, despite withering criticism from both inside and outside the Republican party.”
And in Virginia’s Senate primary yesterday, voters also chose a Trump-aligned candidate in Corey Stewart to take on sitting Democrat and former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine.
Even in California, Trump’s personal impact on midterm races is being felt. His endorsement for John Cox in the state’s governor race drove voters to put him up against a Democrat in California’s open system. Cox has even said that the president will campaign for him in California, echoing the same Trump-as-kingmaker pattern that’s been repeating itself in federal races.
2018 is shaping up to be perhaps even more interesting than 2016 for political watchers.