Last week, the leftwing and NeverTrump Twitterati were all excited about the runoff election results in Texas-06. Susan Wright, the widow of former Representative Ron Wright, faced off against Jake Elzey, who had lost to Wright in the 2018 runoff. What made a runoff in a solid Red district like catnip to the political chatterers was that Wright had received a late endorsement from President Trump.
When the votes were counted, Elzey had prevailed, and the political commentariat went bonkers with delight. Trump, they joyously proclaimed, was done. Finished. Kaput.
Trump LOSES his first big test at the ballot box on a abysmally low turnout. Not only couldn't he persuade Repubs to back Wright, he couldn't get people enthused enough to vote at all. His influence is a mile wide and an inch deep.
— Henry Olsen (@henryolsenEPPC) July 28, 2021
As I pointed out in my post, President Trump’s Team Claims He Was Snookered Into Getting Involved in a Texas Primary Election, there were a lot of things at play in that election, but rejection of Trump was not one of them. Larry Sabato, a dyed-in-the-wool NeverTrump and anti-GOPer, pointed out that Blue precincts underperformed in that election, probably due to no Democrat on the ballot, and the myth spread that Democrats had turned out to defeat Trump appears to be unsupportable by the facts.
Last night we had another data point in the “Trump is toast”: narrative to contemplate.
Republican Steve Stivers has held Ohio’s 15th Congressional District since 2011. He resigned in May 2021 to become president and chief executive officer of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. This necessitated a special election eventually involving 11 candidates. Stivers was a Trump-friendly establishment Republican and presented President Trump with a golden opportunity to put a conservative-populist in the seat and improve the overall genetic stock of the GOP House Caucus.
For those hoping to see Trump go away, the night held unbridled disappointment.
Mike Carey 18,655 36.97%
Jeff LaRe 6,724 13.33%
Ron Hood 6,632 13.14%
Bob Peterson 6,356 12.60%
Ruth Edmonds 5,052 10.01%
Thomas Hwang 2,480 4.92%
Stephanie Kunze 2,344 4.65%
Thad Cooperrider 1,061 2.10%
Omar Tarazi 899 1.78%
John Adams 172 0.34%
Eric Clark 81 0.16%
Two key points, Republicans were fired up and produced the largest primary turnout in OH-15’s history. The Democrats stayed home and cast less than one-half the number of votes one would expect in a Democrat primary in this district (electoral stats from OH-15).
Congratulations, Mike Carey on your big victory in Ohio!
It’s clear which side is energized about this race! Republicans turned out nearly 3 to 1 compared to Democrats in OH-15.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) August 4, 2021
I couldn’t resist posting this to dunk on this guy’s NeverTrump clown act.
The total early vote, including the Dem primary, was 10,537. That means the GOP vote will be absurdly, comically, low unless Election Day voting is really large.
The 4 state legislators are:
Sen. Stephanie Kunze
Sen. Bob Peterson
Rep. Jeff LaRe
former Rep. Ron Hood
— Henry Olsen (@henryolsenEPPC) August 3, 2021
Carey did not win a squeaker. Stivers had endorsed Ohio state representative Jeff LaRe for the seat.
— Drew Savicki (@DrewSav) August 4, 2021
In fact, Carey won 11 of the 12 counties that make up OH-15 despite there being four members of the Ohio legislature in the field.
President Trump took a well-deserved victory lap.
"Great Republican win for Mike Carey. Big numbers! Thank you to Ohio and all of our wonderful American patriots. Congratulations to Mike and his family. He will never let you down!" – President Donald J. Trump pic.twitter.com/KMnPwDkrHd
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) August 4, 2021
The differences between OH-15 and TX-6 are huge. Trump endorsed Carey a couple of months ago.
The Trump organization dumped $350,000 into the race. This race presented voters with a clear line between the way things used to be and how they could be; it didn’t involve a sympathy vote for a widow.
As a test of strength in an open primary, it was a significant victory for Trump. It shows his support is broad and deep in the GOP. His next challenge is working behind the scenes to winnow the Wyoming GOP primary field down to Liz Cheney plus one other to ensure she doesn’t slither back into office.