Mark Sanford After Primary Loss: GOP Is Not Party of Trump

2018 Election: What to expect in Nevada, Virginia, Maine, North Dakota and South Carolina - Philly

But Trump's preference for populist candidates like Corey Stewart, the Confederate-statue-supporting Republican who won the GOP nomination for Senate in Virginia on Tuesday, increasingly seems to be remaking the GOP, if not Congress, in his image.

Trump took what amounted to a victory lap Wednesday morning, suggesting his tweet just hours before the polls closed in the Palmetto State helped state Rep. Katie Arrington defeat Sanford in their GOP primary, 51 percent to 47 percent, according to The Associated Press.

In more than two decades of politics and in spite of one of the great sex scandals in political history, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) had never lost an election.

"He is MIA and nothing but trouble", Trump said. Arrington has attacked Sanford from the right, painting him as disloyal to Trump.

Sanford secretly traveled to Argentina to see his mistress in 2009, while famously claiming to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Afterwards, in 2013, he somehow won a special election for the first district seat, filling the vacancy left when Tim Scott was appointed to the Senate.

Sanford was not the only establishment Republican to face challenges Tuesday. But they could not forgive him for his criticism of President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, a candidate for governor who had done her best to imitate President Donald Trump ultimately rubbed voters the wrong way, while a once-popular Richland solicitor fell victim to a swarm of allegations about sexual harassment allegations and improper spending.

Women will represent Democrats in all four of Virginia's competitive House races in November, the latest example of the party turning to women to unseat vulnerable Republicans in the Trump era.

Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the House and two seats in the Senate in the November 6 elections to regain control of those chambers, allowing them to block Trump's agenda and possibly launch investigations or even impeachment of the president.

Trump has been accused of extra martial affairs. Alabama Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a runoff.

While Trump is popular with Republicans, opinion polls show his general approval hovering in the low 40s% overall.

Arrington endorsed Senator Marco Rubio in the 2016 contest and said she was following the lead of the state's governor at the time, Nikki Haley.

He also slammed Sanford as being 'better off in Argentina'. "If you criticize the president, you will face the wrath of the Trump voter", said Republican strategist John Feehery, a former congressional aide. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was pressed during an interview to explain a tweet he posted on Tuesday calling totalitarian dictator Kim Jong Un "a total weirdo who would not be elected assistant dog catcher in any democracy".

To be sure, the president's track record of picking winners and losers in elections is not flawless.

"I think we all have a question of whether we have a Republican or Democratic primary based on the institutions of the American system", he said. And in a Republican primary, that was a recipe for exile and a warning to others. After all, candidates backed by Trump (i.e., Luther Strange, Roy Moore, Rick Saccone, Ed Gillespie) also lost.

On "Fox News @ Night", conservative columnist Bethany Mandel said Corker has a point about many Republicans being afraid to run afoul of Trump. Now, we do not know if that tweet really turned the tide, but the perception surely is that Republicans will lose if they break with Trump.



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