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The Republican primaries are almost over, and Trump won

Trump-backed candidates have done well this year, putting election deniers on the ballot in November.

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Former President Donald Trump endorses Harriet Hageman for Wyoming’s U.S. House seat during a rally.

Former President Donald Trump endorses Harriet Hageman for Wyoming’s U.S. House seat during a rally on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at the Ford Wyoming Center, in Casper, Wyoming. Hageman won the primary contest against Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

Lauren Miller, The Casper Star-Tribune via Associated Press

The 2022 primary season is nearly over, but already one thing is clear: former President Donald Trump won.

Candidates who support Trump’s false claim of widespread fraud in the 2020 election have won big in key swing states, and candidates he backed to challenge the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol have been mostly successful.

“This was a referendum on the never ending Witch Hunt,” Trump wrote in a post on his social network Tuesday after his endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman beat out Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who voted for impeachment. “The people have spoken!”

Trump began endorsing candidates last year at a more aggressive pace than he did in the previous campaign. He’s backed 235 candidates for the 2022 midterm compared with 183 in 2020, according to Ballotpedia.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, at a primary Election Day gathering.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, at a primary Election Day gathering at Mead Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming. Cheney lost to challenger Harriet Hageman in the primary.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

So far, 92% of Trump’s candidates won their primaries. It’s a figure padded by endorsements of shoo-in candidates who were expected to win with or without his support, but still, Trump’s picks won when it mattered: of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach, four retired, two won and four lost, including Cheney.

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How “impeachment” Republicans did in the 2022 primaries:

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio: retiring from Congress

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois: retiring from Congress

Rep. John Katko of New York: retiring from Congress

Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan: retiring from Congress

Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina: lost

Rep. David Valadao of California: won

Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan: lost

Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington: won

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler: lost

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming: lost




Trump-backed candidates who’ve questioned the 2020 results also won their party’s nomination for governor in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all battleground states that helped decide 2020 and could play a pivotal role in 2024. Cheney called it dangerous.

“I think we all have to recognize how dangerous it is to elect people who don’t fundamentally believe in upholding our Constitutional process,” Cheney said during an interview on “Today” Wednesday.

In a year when Republicans would normally be favored running against the party of an unpopular president, Trump’s strong showing has put the 2020 election back on the ballot in many races. Cheney said voters should reject election deniers no matter their party.

“The election deniers right now are Republicans, and I think that it shouldn’t matter what party you are, nobody should be voting for those people,” she said. “I think we have to make sure we are fighting against every single election denier.”

Cheney also criticized Democrats who elevated election deniers in hopes they’ll be easier to beat in November, saying they were “playing a game.”

Some Republicans who campaigned against election deniers and lost are hoping they won’t have to vote for Democrats in November. Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, campaigned against her party’s gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake during the primary, calling the former TV news anchor and election denier “fake Kari Lake.” Now she’s hoping Lake will moderate for the general election.

“I want her to stop the rhetoric about the elections,” Brewer told KTAR earlier this month. “Maybe she was ill-informed.”