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Primary election results – live: Trump rages as Dr Oz struggles and Madison Cawthorn crashes out

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With almost all the results now in from Tuesday’s key primary elections, strong performances by several Donald Trump-backed candidates underscore the former president’s ongoing clout within the party – but it was far from a perfect scorecard, with North Carolina Republicans throwing out Trump-backed congressman Madison Cawthorn in his primary.

The scandal-hit Mr Cawthorn’s defeat has met with celebration among the ex-president’s critics, including within the Republican Party – where even many in the establishment wanted to see the congressman removed from office because of his extreme statements and outlandish behaviour.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has taken to Truth Social to baselessly suggest mail-in ballots were fraudulent in Pennsylvania, where his chosen Senate candidate Dr Mehmet Oz is locked in a tight battle with former hedge fund executive David McCormick.

With only a small portion of the vote yet to be counted, the two men are just a tiny number of votes apart, putting them within the 0.5-point margin that triggers an automatic recount – and raising the possibility that mail-in votes could put Mr McCormick ahead.

Key points

  • Why we won’t know the outcome of the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania just yet

  • Fetterman wins Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania Senate race

  • Election denier Doug Mastiano wins Pennsylvania Republican primary for governor

  • Trump-backed Ted Budd wins GOP nomination in North Carolina Senate primary

  • Madison Cawthorn loses re-election bid in North Carolina primary

Trump says ally Dr Oz should declare victory in Pennsylvania primary

06:00 , Alex Woodward

The former president baselessly suggested that his preferred candidate Dr Oz simply declare himself the winner in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary, and falsely claimed election officials are “unable” to count ballots – keeping up his bogus narrative that elections, if they don’t go his way, are rigged against him, throwing a wrench into the democratic process.

Trump whines that ally Dr Oz should declare victory in Pennsylvania Senate primary

Defeated GOP primary candidate blames Sean Hannity for her loss accusing him of ‘flat out lies’

05:00 , Alex Woodward

Far-right candidate Kathy Barnette, who is trailing in third in the Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania, is blaming her finish on Fox News host Sean Hannity.

In a video posted to her Twitter account early on Wednesday morning, she thanked her supporters and attacked the Fox personality.

She said: “I do want to say: never forget what Sean Hannity did in this race. Almost single-handedly, Sean Hannity sowed seeds of disinformation, flat-out lies every night for the past five days. And that was just extremely hard to overcome, apparently”.

Defeated GOP primary candidate blames Sean Hannity for her loss

ICYMI: Here is why we don’t know the winner in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary

04:00 , Alex Woodward

Dr Oz and Dave McCormick are just a few tenths of one percentage point apart in the Republican primary for a US Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

It may be several days or weeks to determine who won the race, with several thousand mail-in or absentee ballots left to be counted and processed.

Thousands of printing errors involving mail-in ballots from Lancaster County must also be manually remarked, with a team of 50 volunteers and county employees working with election administrators.

The errors impacted about 16,000 of 22,000 mail-in ballots that were returned.

Once all ballots counted, the race is likely headed to a recount, if the men can’t escape the .5 per cent threshold that separtes them. That threshold triggers an automatic recount, under state law. That process would have to start by 1 June and end no later than 7 June.

Then, of course, the winner in the GOP primary will face John Fetterman, who won every county in the state in the Democratic primary. That general election will put the GOP candidate against Fetterman on 8 November.

“The Pennsylvania primary showed a Republican party in disarray"

03:10 , Alex Woodward

The midterms are still months away, but Tuesday night was proof that the GOP is getting very good at shooting itself in the foot, writes Nathan McDermott:

Pennsylvania primary showed a Republican party in disarray

Kinzinger: Cawthorn’s loss is ‘good for the country'

02:00 , Alex Woodward

Illinois Republican congressman and Trump critic called the loss of the former president’s pick in North Carolina “good for the country.”

“It’s good for the party. It’s good for the 11th District of North Carolina,” he told CNN.

“DC has become kind of a growing ground for people that are just more interested in fame than governing, that are more interested in becoming famous than in actually doing the really serious work, at a time when we have a lot of challenges here at home and a lot of challenges overseas.”

Kinzinger is notably not running for re-election. He joins Liz Cheney as the only two Republican House members on the congressional committee investigating the Capitol attack. Both of them are routinely attacked by far-right members of their party.

“I was kicked out of Madison Cawthorn’s primary party. Here’s what I saw beforehand"

01:00 , Alex Woodward

What was the vibe like at the auto detail shop/campaign party as Madison Cawthorn’s re-election bid came crashing down?

The Independent’s John Bowden was there. He got kicked out.

I was kicked out of Madison Cawthorn’s primary party. Here’s what I saw beforehand

Why we don’t know the results in Pennsylvania’s GOP senate primary just yet

Wednesday 18 May 2022 23:37 , Alex Woodward

Dr Oz and Dave McCormick are just a few tenths of one percentage point apart in the Republican primary for a US Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

It may be several days or weeks to determine who won the race, with several thousand mail-in or absentee ballots left to be counted and processed.

Thousands of printing errors involving mail-in ballots from Lancaster County must also be manually remarked, with a team of 50 volunteers and county employees working with election administrators.

The errors impacted about 16,000 of 22,000 mail-in ballots that were returned.

Once all ballots counted, the race is likely headed to a recount, if the men can’t escape the .5 per cent threshold that separtes them. That threshold triggers an automatic recount, under state law. That process would have to start by 1 June and end no later than 7 June.

Then, of course, the winner in the GOP primary will face John Fetterman, who won every county in the state in the Democratic primary. That general election will put the GOP candidate against Fetterman on 8 November.

Who is Dr Oz, the Trump-backed celebrity doctor running for the GOP primary in Pennsylvania’s Senate race?

Wednesday 18 May 2022 23:04 , Alex Woodward

The daytime television personality who millions of Americans have turned to for wellness advice made a surprising turn into Pennsylvania politics last year.

Now he’s the possible Republican nominee in a Senate race in a midterm election that could determine the balance of power in Congress.

Who is Dr Oz, the Trump-backed celebrity doctor running for Senate?

Bill de Blasio considering entry into congressional race in newly drawn NY district

Wednesday 18 May 2022 22:24 , Alex Woodward

Bill de Blasio – the former New York City Mayor and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination – has announced that he is considering whether to jump into the race for a House seat in the state’s newly drawn 10th congressional district.

He is forming what’s called an “exploratory committee” to see whether he should formally file for entry, with primary elections coming up on 23 August.

The wide-open race with the new map – which has ping-ponged over legal challenges alleging that the district favours Democrats – has attracted several candidates across the state’s Democratic leadership, including current assemblymembers and city councilors.

US Rep Jerrold Nadler, who represents the 10th district in its current shape, is instead running for the redrawn 12th district – pitting himself against another big-name Democratic member of Congress: House Oversight Committee chair Carolyn Maloney.

“Our neighborhoods need help as we recover from Covid,” the former mayor said on Wednesday. “Our nation needs help as democracy is threatened and working people struggle. I am ready to serve to continue the fight against inequality. Today I am forming an Exploratory Committee for the new #NY10.”

'Too immature and uncultured’

Wednesday 18 May 2022 21:52 , Alex Woodward

That’s how two North Carolina voters described Madison Cawthorn after they cast their ballots for Not Him, according to this dispatch from The Washington Post.

But Cawthorn’s loss was also a victory for Senator Thom Tillis, who told the newspaper that the far-right freshman congressman’s concession is “a great first step” to get his foot back in the door of the GOP.

Why did the senator want revenge? The Independent’s Eric Garcia explains:

This is the Republican Senator determined to bury Madison Cawthorn

Defeated GOP primary candidate blames Sean Hannity for her loss accusing him of ‘flat out lies’

Wednesday 18 May 2022 21:28 , Alex Woodward

Far-right candidate Kathy Barnette, who is trailing in third in the Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania, is blaming her finish on Fox News host Sean Hannity.

In a video posted to her Twitter account early on Wednesday morning, she thanked her supporters and attacked the Fox personality.

She said: “I do want to say: never forget what Sean Hannity did in this race. Almost single-handedly, Sean Hannity sowed seeds of disinformation, flat-out lies every night for the past five days. And that was just extremely hard to overcome, apparently”.

Defeated GOP primary candidate blames Sean Hannity for her loss

Cawthorn closes down his leadership PAC after election loss

Wednesday 18 May 2022 21:15 , Alex Woodward

It doesn’t seen Congressman Madison Cawthorn has plans to get back into office after he finishes his current term following his GOP primary election loss on Tuesday night.

His Making A Difference In Service to Our Nation (or MADISON) leadership PAC has filed its termination with the Federal Election Commission, less than 24 hours after results rolled in, according to Business Insider.

The Trump-backed candidate and once-ascendent young Republican in Congress conceded his loss to Chuck Edwards for the Republican nomination for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district race.

Pro-Trump PAC spent $25k on calls to boost Dr Oz

Wednesday 18 May 2022 20:55 , Alex Woodward

A pro-Trump super PAC spent $25,000 on a last-minute phone call blitz for Dr Oz ahead of primary election day on Tuesday according to Make America Great Again, Again! filings with the FEC, as reported by The Washington Post.

Half the calls promoted Oz while the others opposed David McCormick and Kathy Barnette.

Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary race is still too close to call as of Wednesday afternoon, with Oz and McCormick separated a couple thousand votes, or .2 percentage points, with Oz in the lead.

ICYMI: On the scene of Madison Cawthorn’s stunning loss in North Carolina

Wednesday 18 May 2022 19:48 , Alex Woodward

Two very different scenes developed in Hendersonville , North Carolina on Tuesday night as a pair of rivals faced off for the title of GOP nominee the state in Congress.

US Rep Madison Cawthorn – the far-right, Trump-backed first-term congressman – learned he was likely out of the race while his campaign wrapped up its election night party at a small auto detailer and tire shop.

The Independent’s John Bowden has more from his on-the-ground dispatch:

‘It is what it is’: On the scene of Madison Cawthorn’s stunning loss

From Madison Cawthorn to Dr Oz, who really won and lost on Trump’s big primary night

Wednesday 18 May 2022 18:42 , Alex Woodward

The Independent’s Eric Garcia has this dispatch from last night’s results, which prove that Trump’s endorsements in high-profile races are no guarantee:

Who really won and lost on Trump’s big primary night?

Do Republicans like ‘Big Lie’ supporter Doug Mastriano suddenly now believe in legitimacy of elections?

Wednesday 18 May 2022 18:06 , Alex Woodward

After the 2020 election, in which Biden won Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano was one of 10 Republican state senators to call for delaying certification of the Electoral College and also said that the state legislature in Pennsylvania had the “sole power” to nominate electors.

He declared victory in his gubernatorial campaign last night within moments of the race call from news networks.

So, what changed? Why do Mastriano and all the other previous deniers who won their races now believe the election process is fair?

Do Republicans like Doug Mastriano suddenly now believe in legitimacy of elections?

‘Quite a few’ ballots left to be counted in Pennsylvania

Wednesday 18 May 2022 17:40 , Alex Woodward

Pennsylvania’s action secretary of state Leigh Chapman told CNN on Wednesday morning that there remain “quite a few ballots” to be counted, as the state awaits results from a closely watched GOP Senate primary.

Roughly 24,000 absentee or mail-in ballots have yet to be tallied up, according to figures from the Associated Press. Those votes are more than enough to determine whether Dr Oz or McCormick wins that race.

Officials should know by next week whether the results trigger an automatic recount, should candidates come within .5 per cent of the vote, Chapman said.

The races that are still too close to call

Wednesday 18 May 2022 17:28 , Alex Woodward

The closely watched GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania – with contenders Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick and Kathy Barnette – is still too close to call as of noon ET.

Both Oz and McCormick are at roughly 31 per cent, with Barnette trailing with just under 25 per cent.

A Democratic primary in the state for the 12th congressional district – a Democratic-leaning district that includes Pittsburgh – shows progressive candidate Summer Lee with the slimmest of leads against Steve Irwin, who has the backing of retiring congressman Mike Doyle, whose seat the candidates are running to fill.

Greene and Boebert look safer than Cawthorn

Wednesday 18 May 2022 16:50 , Andrew Naughtie

The downfall of Madison Cawthorn has got some critics of extremist Republicans giddy with excitement, a few even suggesting that some of the party’s most radical and dangerous members of Congress could yet be felled by intraparty challenges.

The Independent’s Eric Garcia has a word of caution:

Watch: Madison Cawthorn’s election night rant

Wednesday 18 May 2022 16:43 , Andrew Naughtie

Madison Cawthorn last night conceded his congressional primary not long after the result became clear, and sent out a conciliatory tweet calling on supporters to “rally behind the Republican ticket”.

But before the final result became clear, the scandal-plagued congressman gave a press conference at which he complained about the “old establishment” of his party, which he said had been paying off people from his past to share unflattering material.

Opinion: The Pennsylvania primary showed up a Republican party in disarray

Wednesday 18 May 2022 16:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Writing forThe Independent, Nathan McDermott explains that last night’s primary results in the Keystone State spell trouble for the GOP – and not least because they show the chaotic effect of Donald Trump’s influence:

For the past several years (or decades) headlines proclaiming “Democrats in Disarray” have become so common as to be cliché, but last night it was the Republicans who were truly in disarray. Trump hangs over the party like the Sword of Damocles, threatening any candidate who doesn’t swear fealty to him, and by default endorse his baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. As a result, every Republican is falling over themselves to curry Trump’s favor in the primary, even if it means damaging themselves in the general election...

The midterms are still months away, but Republicans will be shooting themselves in the foot if they follow the alienating strategies that plagued their Pennsylvania candidates, while Democrats should only be so lucky.

Read his piece below.

Pennsylvania primary showed up a Republican party in disarray

“BIG MESS”: Trump enraged by close PA result

Wednesday 18 May 2022 15:56 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump is awake and posting on Truth Social – and as some have predicted, he is furious at the possibility that his chosen candidate, Dr Mehmet Oz, might lose the Pennsylvania Senate primary because of his rival Dave McCormick’s possible strength in the mail-in vote:

Biden congratulates Fetterman...

Wednesday 18 May 2022 15:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Joe Biden last night reportedly called John Fetterman to congratulate him on his victory in the Pennsylvania Senate primary, which the sitting lieutenant governor won despite suffering a stroke just days before:

Where Fetterman faces an uphill climb

Wednesday 18 May 2022 15:05 , Andrew Naughtie

John Fetterman’s resounding win in the Pennyslvania primary may have given Democrats hope of a Senate pickup in a difficult year, but political data cruncher Tom Bonier has this note of caution about the candidate’s chances in November:

Madison Cawthorn’s triumphalist tweets come back to haunt him

Wednesday 18 May 2022 14:06 , Andrew Naughtie

The downfall of Madison Cawthorn has set off a wave of schadenfreude among his myriad critics, and many of them are now sharing past tweets in which the congressman ridiculed his own opponents’ losses. and celebrated his own supposed chances of winning re-election.

Analysis: Donald Trump had a good night

Wednesday 18 May 2022 13:36 , Andrew Naughtie

For all that Madison Cawthorn’s loss and Dr Oz’s possible defeat will sting, writes Andrew Buncombe, it’s wrong to look on last night’s results as a defeat for Donald Trump:

Even if Trump did not get a clean sweep on Tuesday night, he scored enough wins to show the power he wields; Mastriano, in particular, had been trailing until the former president throw his support behind him.

Yet at broader level, Trump had already won before any results were announced. His continued presence as the most likely Republican presidential candidate in 2024, and his continued denial of the 2020 results, has pushed many candidates to try and copy and emulate him.

The selection process he oversaw at his estate in Florida – a Mar-a-Lago political beauty contest where people were forced to beg and scrape – showed he had lost none of his knack for understanding how to put on a good show.

This ought to worry Democrats.

Read his full analysis below.

Forget the Madison Cawthorn sideshow – it was still a good night for Donald Trump

Flashback: How John Fetterman got here

Wednesday 18 May 2022 12:50 , Andrew Naughtie

John Fetterman’s win in the Democratic Pennsylvania Senate primary has been a long time in the making, and counts as a major victory over a challenge from the moderate side that was expected to be far stronger than it turned out.

As the candidate made his way toward winning, The Independent’s Richard Hall was able to sit down with him to understand how he was approaching the race – and how he views the future of his party.

Critics mock Trump’s faltering endorsement power

Wednesday 18 May 2022 12:15 , Andrew Naughtie

With Madison Cawthorn defeated and Mehmet Oz struggling to hold on to a tiny lead in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump’s less successful endorsements are attracting plenty of mockery today...

Watch: Dr Oz thanks Sean Hannity in primary night speech

Wednesday 18 May 2022 11:17 , Andrew Naughtie

Fox News’s Sean Hannity has consistently boosted Dr Mehmet Oz throughout the Pennsylvania Senate primary, and he led the right-wing charge against third-place finisher Kathy Barnette when she appeared to surge in the polls.

And now, in case there was any doubt about Mr Hannity’s participation in the campaign, Dr Oz has explicitly thanked the host for his contribution:

Doug Mastriano wins in Pennsylvania

Wednesday 18 May 2022 10:22 , Andrew Naughtie

The Republican Party has a nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, and the chosen candidate is extreme even by the GOP’s current standards.

Doug Mastriano, who currently serves as a state senator, was a leading voice of election denial in the state after Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat. He also attended the 6 January riot, and was pictured on camera at the US Capitol just before it was breached. In addition to that, many his policy positions are also at the hardline end of the spectrum, from forcing all voters to re-register to backing an abortion ban with no exemptions for rape or incest.

Read more from Eric Garcia below.

Election denier Doug Mastriano wins Pennsylvania Republican primary for governor

Primary night: why Idaho matters

Wednesday 18 May 2022 09:30 , Andrew Naughtie

For all the obvious import of last night’s races in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, it pays to keep an eye on what’s happened in one of the reddest states in the US: Idaho, where various Republican incumbents last night faced challenges from outright extremists in their own party.

But it seems that most of the hardcore candidates have fallen short. Among the (relative) moderates who kept his seat was Governor Brad Little, who fended off a challenge from his own lieutenant governor, the Trump-backed Janice McGeachin. Among other things, Ms McGeachin is infamous for having https://twitter.com/Taniel/status/1526786080158121985?s=20&t=U3QtiB2ebyDdHPKMUCwfWg, an act that saw her censured by state legislators.

Pennsylvania: McCormick strategist predicts mail-in victory

Wednesday 18 May 2022 08:55 , Andrew Naughtie

Dr Mehmet Oz is currently clinging to a narrow lead in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary, but a GOP strategist who works with Dave McCormick is predicting that the second-placed candidate will pull off a win – on the strength of mail-in ballots.

It was, of course, mail-in ballots that became a key theme of Donald Trump’s false conspiracy theory about the theft of the 2020 election, including in Pennsylvania. For a Republican primary in a key swing state to be decided by postal voting would be ironic indeed.

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