By John Wagner and Sean Sulivan,
President Trump declared Wednesday that Republicans had “a great night” as primary voters in four states selected nominees largely aligned with his agenda and whom Trump said are well-positioned to win in November.
“Tremendous voter energy and excitement, and all candidates are those who have a great chance of winning in November,” the president wrote on Twitter after Tuesday’s GOP primaries.
Trump also took a shot at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has said she wants to roll back GOP tax cus if Democrats take control of the House next year.
“The Economy is sooo strong, and with Nancy Pelosi wanting to end the big Tax Cuts and Raise Taxes, why wouldn’t we win?” Trump wrote.https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/994176238846664706">
The tweet came the morning after Republican voters rallied behind candidates aligned with Trump and party leaders in a trio of pivotal Senate primaries: West Virginia, Indiana and Ohio. Voters also went to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina.
Trump’s biggest win came in the Senate race in West Virginia, where State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won in West Virginia, defeating Rep. Evan Jenkins and divisive candidate Don Blankenship.
On Monday, Trump took to Twitter to urge West Virginia Republicans to reject Blankenship, a former coal industry executive who had spent time in prison.
“To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference,” Trump wrote. “Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State ... No way!”
In the final weeks of the contest, Blankenship claimed to be “Trumpier than Trump,” referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as “Cocaine Mitch” and lambasted the “fake prosecution” that put him in federal prison.
The late opposition from Trump, who cast Blankenship as unelectable in the fall, appeared to have undermined his momentum. Upon conceding, Blankenship blamed Trump’s “lack of endorsement” for his loss.
Meanwhile, wealthy businessman Mike Braun prevailed in Indiana, defeating a pair of congressmen by emulating the president with an outsider campaign. And in Ohio, Rep. James B. Renacci clinched his nomination with the support of the president.
Republicans are defending a fragile 51-49 Senate majority, which they are increasingly framing as a last line of defense against a Democratic takeover of Congress.