The Trump Endorsed Candidate in Nebraska Suffers a Loss, and the Legacy Media Wants It to Be a Referendum on Trump

As RedState reported, Tuesday was a big primary night in Nebraska and West Virginia. Former President Donald J. Trump has so far lucked out with his endorsements, with big wins in Ohio for every candidate he endorsed, including Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance.


In West Virginia, Trump endorsed candidate Alexander Mooney pulled out a win. However, the loss of the Nebraska Governor’s race is the first chink in the endorsement armor.

From the AP:

Jim Pillen, a University of Nebraska regent backed by the state’s outgoing governor, won a crowded Republican primary for governor on Tuesday over a candidate endorsed by Donald Trump, dealing the former president a notable loss as he tries to shape the GOP’s future.

Pillen, a hog farm owner and veterinarian, defeated eight challengers, including Charles Herbster, a businessman accused late in the campaign of groping young women, and Brett Lindstrom, a state senator and Omaha financial adviser who was generally viewed as a more moderate choice.

While Trump-endorsed candidates won primary races in West Virginia for the U.S. House on Tuesday, the statewide loss in Nebraska was a setback for Trump. He has issued hundreds of endorsements and staged his signature campaign-style rallies in support of his preferred candidates, including Herbster, all in an effort to bend the GOP in his direction ahead of another possible presidential run in 2024.


Trump has been out of office for well over a year now, but in the legacy media’s heads, he still occupies free space. There’s one thing about covering these primaries because it’s the news; it’s another thing to cover them as a referendum on Trump and his chances of another presidential run in 2024.

But, such is the case with tonight’s headlines and coverage.

Herbster’s loss raises the stakes on other high-profile races this month in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where Trump has also intervened in campaigns.

“Intervened in campaigns”? How so? Endorsements can be given by anyone, from the local paper to former officeholders. Pillen was a strong contender, who had the endorsement of both the current and former Nebraska governors. The Nebraska GOP is also its own strong body that backs racehorses as opposed to nags. For whatever reason Trump chose to back Charles Herbster, Pillen ended up being the stronger choice, and this primary merely tested that mettle.

As stated above, the Pennsylvania Senate race, where Trump has endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz, and the Georgia governor’s race, where Trump has endorsed former Senator David Perdue will definitely be ones to watch. The Pennsylvania and Georgia Republican Party arms are very much like Nebraska’s—they have a strong infrastructure, and a penchant for backing candidates who often win.


While Trump’s endorsements are newsy, these races have heat for a variety of reasons. In Georgia, we have three colorful characters with lots of animus under the bridge, while in Pennsylvania, the endorsed candidates are being bested by a grassroots candidate who is showing her prowess and capturing the voter’s imaginations. So, endorsements or not, they are races that could go wild card because of the players in the race, and not because of the endorsements.

But, the legacy media will continue to try and make it about Trump.

As I said, Rent Free!


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