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Tuesday’s Republican primaries brought good news for President Trump and consolidated his hold over the Republican Party. The stunning upset victory of Jeff Johnson over former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in the Minnesota Republican gubernatorial primary drives that point home better than almost anything else.
Pawlenty outspent Hennepin County Commissioner Johnson by better than three-to-one and was heavily favored to win the primary to run for his old job again.
The article goes on to state the following:
But Johnson was more conservative and was the stronger supporter of President Trump – and that apparently was important to Republican primary voters. Johnson captured 53 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Pawlenty in the gubernatorial primary, with a minor candidate picking up the rest.
When Trump was running in 2016 Pawlenty called him “unhinged and unfit” to be president, after the “Access Hollywood” tape showed Trump bragging about grabbing women. Pawlenty later said he had voted for Trump in the 2016 election and supported most of his policies, but was never seen as a strong backer of the president.
“The Republican Party has shifted,” Pawlenty said Tuesday night. “It is the era of Trump, and I’m just not a Trump-like politician.”
More evidence of President Trump’s dominance over his party came in the resolution of an election from last week where Trump-backed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was finally certified as the Republican nominee for governor Tuesday.
What’s unknown is what impact support from the president will have for GOP candidates in the November election, at a time when he is deeply unpopular with Democratic voters and many independents are cool to him.
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