Former President Donald Trump has taken the lead in his endorsement proxy war with former Vice President Mike Pence, with Trump-endorsed Wisconsin candidate for governor Tim Michels beating Pence’s choice, former Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
Trump now leads Pence 2 to 1 in successful primary endorsements, with Tuesday night’s victory handing him the lead. There have only been three primaries in Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin where the former friends endorsed opposing candidates, Forbes reported in July.
In late May, Pence-endorsed Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp crushed his Trump-endorsed competitor, former Republican Georgia Sen. David Perdue, by a margin of 73.7% to 21.8%. Trump endorsed Perdue in an attempt at revenge after Kemp certified the 2020 Georgia election results.
Kemp’s victory gave Pence an early lead in the proxy war, causing some to question Trump’s grip over the GOP. However, Trump’s fortunes turned in Arizona when he endorsed Kari Lake over Karrin Taylor Robson, who received Pence’s blessing.
Prior to the Arizona primary, both Trump and Pence had dueling rallies on the same day trying to pull their respective candidates over the finish line, while delivering two different visions of the GOP.
“If the Republican Party allows itself to become consumed by yesterday’s grievances, we will lose,” Pence said during his rally.
Trump posed a different outlook, saying “the election was rigged and stolen and now our country is being systematically destroyed because of it” while telling his followers Lake would be tough on election integrity.
Unlike Georgia, the race in Arizona was much tighter with Lake winning by 47.9% to 43.2%. The results from Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary yielded a similar margin of victory for Michels.
Despite the success of Trump’s endorsements, some experts are concerned about the candidates’ quality and electability in November. (RELATED: ‘Weak’ Candidates Threaten GOP’s Hopes To Retake Senate)
Trump and Pence did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundations requests for comment.
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