Breaking Down the 2022 Primaries in West Virginia and Nebraska

Headline Roundup May 11th, 2022

The results are in for the 2022 primaries in West Virginia and Nebraska.

In West Virginia, Rep. Alex Mooney, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, defeated Rep. David McKinley in a primary where two incumbents faced each other due to redistricting. In Nebraska, two Trump-backed incumbents won their primaries — Reps. Adrian Smith and Carol Miller. Jim Pillen won the Republican gubernatorial nomination against Trump-backed rival Charles Herbster, who has been accused of groping at least eight women in recent years.

The primary results also seemed to indicate that infrastructure was no electoral savior, as McKinley, who was running on support of last year's bipartisan infrastructure bill, lost to an opponent of the bill. Media from the right, left and center also pointed to Herbster's loss as the first 2022 defeat of a Trump-backed candidate, after the former president saw all of his endorsements win in Ohio last week.

From the Left
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elections, 2022 Elections, West Virginia, Nebraska, Donald Trump

All 22 of Donald Trump’s endorsed candidates in Indiana and Ohio came away with the Republican nomination last week.

While his May 3 win-loss record looked impressive on paper, it was artificially inflated — the former president backed lots of incumbents who had no opposition and counted them as victories.

Trump did take one legit risk in endorsing J.D. Vance in the Ohio Senate primary. And his big gamble proved successful when Vance came from behind to finish in first place.

This week, Trump had slightly more political capital at...

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From the Center
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Nebraska and West Virginia held high-profile primaries that served as tests of former President Trump’s lingering sway among GOP voters. 

University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen won the GOP nod over businessman Charles Herbster, who ran with Trump’s endorsement, and state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, who cast himself as a more pragmatic Republican. In West Virginia, hard-liner Rep. Alex Mooney (R) defeated Rep. David McKinley (R) in an incumbent-on-incumbent primary sparked by redistricting. 

Here are five takeaways from the primary results. 

Trump suffered his first big loss this cycle… 

Trump notched a prominent loss in Nebraska as Pillen...

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From the Right
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Jim Pillen, a University of Nebraska regent, won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Nebraska after former President Donald Trump endorsed one of his rivals, winning a crowded primary to replace Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who is term limited.

The Republican field also included businessman Charles Herbster and state Sen. Brett Lindstrom. Pillen was backed by Ricketts as well as Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne. Lindstrom campaigned as more of a centrist than his rivals.

The crowded and contentious primary race was rocked by allegations that Herbster, who was endorsed by Trump, groped at least eight women in recent...

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