Three House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump could see the end of their political careers on Tuesday evening, as Republican primary voters in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington head to the polls.
Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington and Peter Meijer of Michigan are all facing tough challenges from Trump-backed primary opponents.
They’re just three of the high-profile races that will test the former president’s endorsement strength ahead of the November midterm elections.
Meanwhile Republican establishment figures have rushed to prop up candidates that would have a broader appeal among Independent and suburban voters amid concerns that Trump’s more fringe-right picks could cost the GOP critical swing districts in November.
In Washington’s Third Congressional District, Beutler is facing Trump-endorsed retired Green Beret Joe Kent, who believes the former president’s election fraud claims and has claimed ‘deep state’ operatives were behind the violence on January 6.
Beutler, who was elected in 2010, is also up against Heidi St. John, a Christian podcaster competing with Kent for the district’s most conservative voters.
In the neighboring deep-red Fourth Congressional District, Newhouse faces seven primary challengers – including Trump-backed military veteran and former police chief Loren Culp.
Meijer faces the steepest uphill battle to keep his seat, however, with a competitive primary challenger on Tuesday and an increasingly blue district to woo overall in November if he makes it past the first round.
The former Army officer made a national name for himself with his vocal criticism of President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
But he’s now up against former Trump administration official John Gibbs, who wildly accused Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chair John Podesta of taking part in a satanic ritual.
Gibbs had served under Ben Carson in the Housing and Urban Development Department.
Beutler, Newhouse, and Meijer are three of 10 House Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump over the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Four have already announced their retirements. GOP Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina lost his primary in June after netting less than half the votes his Trump-backed challenger, Russell Fry, received.
Many of Tuesday’s primary races are expected to be endurance tests of Trump’s influence over the Republican Party
California Republican Rep. Dave Valadao is the only one of the anti-Trump set to have won his primary. January 6 Committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney is projected to lose her primary later this month to Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.
Another closely-watched race on Tuesday will be the Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary, where former local news anchor Kari Lake is facing off against Karrin Taylor Robson, who was a staffer in Ronald Reagan’s administration.
Lake, who has been vocal in promoting Trump’s election fraud lies in her battleground state, has appeared at two Arizona rallies alongside the former president this year.
Robson, meanwhile, has support from former Vice President Mike Pence as well as the state’s current term-limited GOP governor, Doug Ducey.
After months of early polls showing Lake with a comfortable lead, Robson quickly caught up thanks to her high-profile backers. An Emerson poll taken at the end of July shows Robson with 49 percent of the vote compared to Lake’s 48 percent, a virtual dead heat.
Arizona Republicans head to the polls on August 2 to choose between Trump-backed former local news anchor Kari Lake (left) and a former member of the Arizona Board of Regents who also served in the Reagan administration, Karrin Taylor Robson (right)
Also in Arizona, Trump-backed Senate candidate Blake Masters holds a commanding lead in his GOP primary race.
He’s up by 18 points compared to his next-closest opponent, businessman Jim Lamon, according to Emerson’s survey.
The winner of that primary will face Democrat Senator Mark Kelly in November.
In Kansas, the most closely-watched race won’t be for a candidate but rather a ballot measure that will have residents decide whether they want to keep or repeal the state’s abortion protections.
Voting ‘yes’ would overturn the Kansas state constitution’s abortion rights, leaving the door wide open for its Republican legislature to ban or limit the procedure.
The bill would likely face a veto from Democrat Governor Laura Kelly, which the legislature has the votes to override.