Our book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.
On Tuesday, Republicans flipped a congressional seat in a heavily Hispanic district in south Texas, sent packing a pro-impeachment Republican congressman from South Carolina and nominated a passel of Trump loyalists in Nevada. It was a good night for the 45th president and an even better one for his party.
In Texas’s 34th congressional district, Mayra Flores, a Republican, garnered 51% of the vote in a special election in a district that voted for Joe Biden by double digits. Flores is the first Republican elected from the district, and the first Latina Republican in Texas’s congressional delegation.
The Democrats have plenty to worry about. Flores campaigned on being born in Mexico and arriving in the US with her migrant parents. From the looks of things, the Democrats’ hold on Latino voters appears to be rapidly eroding. The cracks that appeared in the 2020 elections continue to grow.
In South Carolina’s seventh congressional district, incumbent representative Tom Rice suffered defeat after voting to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection.
The congressman lost to Russell Fry, a state legislator endorsed by Trump. Rice remained unrepentant to the end. “I was livid,” he said. “I took an oath to protect the constitution and I did it then and I would do it again tomorrow.” His constituents were unimpressed.
Elsewhere in South Carolina, Representative Nancy Mace defeated Katie Arrington, a one-term former state legislator who had Trump’s backing. Mace offended Trump by voting to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election and criticizing the insurrection.
Unlike Rice, Mace opposed impeachment. Beyond that, on the campaign trail, she repeatedly stressed her personal support for Trump, and let his backers know that she still stood with them.
Trump loyalists also had a good night in Nevada. There, denial of Trump’s loss in the 2020 election emerged as the coin of the realm. Jim Marchant won the Republican nomination for secretary of state. His embrace of the big lie was a central tenet of his candidacy.
Elsewhere on the ballot, Trump’s pick for the US Senate, Adam Laxalt, prevailed in the Republican primary with a 55-36 win over Sam Brown, an Afghanistan war veteran. Laxalt is a former Nevada attorney general, and the grandson of the late Paul Laxalt, a US senator.
Likewise, Joe Lombardo, another Trump-backed candidate, won the Republican nod for governor. He is the sheriff of Clark county, and will take on Steve Sisolak, the Democratic incumbent.
Hearings held by the House special committee did not affect Tuesday’s primaries; they were irrelevant. Whether that is the case in November remains to be seen.