Where does Idaho Lt. Gov. McGeachin’s loss fit with other Trump-endorsed primary candidates?

·2 min read
Sarah A. Miller/smiller@idahostatesman.com

Nearly all of former President Donald Trump’s endorsements for Tuesday’s midterm primary elections emerged victorious, except for two candidates.

One of those was North Carolina’s divisive incumbent U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn. The other was Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.

McGeachin became just the third Trump-endorsed candidate to lose an election in 2022. The former president, who has favored candidates backing his “big lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, has endorsed over 70 winning candidates so far — many of them sitting U.S. senators and representatives who were not in competitive races, such as Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo.

Trump-backed celebrity TV physician Dr. Mehmet Oz is narrowly leading in Pennsylvania for the GOP Senate nomination, but that Tuesday race was too close to call Wednesday morning.

McGeachin’s run against Gov. Brad Little marked just the second time since 1932 that a lieutenant governor challenged a sitting Idaho governor, the Idaho Statesman previously reported, but she fell far short: Little got 53% of the vote (148,214) to McGeachin’s 32% (90,682).

The Associated Press announced Little as the winner early Tuesday night.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, McGeachin expressed frustration with the way the Republican races played out. Seven candidates split 47.2% of the vote opposing Little.

“Conservatives must get smarter and understand that we beat ourselves when we don’t unite behind each other, we must never do that again,” McGeachin said in the post. “The establishment counts on that, and we fell for it.”

McGeachin won contests in Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai and Benewah counties, all in the Idaho Panhandle. Little picked up the most votes in every other county in the state.

Besides McGeachin and Cawthorn, the other Trump-backed losing candidate this primary season thus far was Charles Herbster, who fell in the Nebraska GOP gubernatorial race on May 11.

Cawthorn and Herbster lost by much smaller margins than did McGeachin, who earned Trump’s endorsement last November. The former president called McGeachin a “true supporter of MAGA since the very beginning.”

Tuesday’s loss for McGeachin was just her second in an election — in 2000 she lost by 241 votes to Lee Staker in the Bonneville County District 3 commissioner race.

You can check out how other Trump-endorsed candidates fared on Tuesday night using FiveThirtyEight’s tracker.

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