Primary Results: Trump’s Hold on the GOP Is Showing

Runoff for SC GOP gubernatorial race; Rep. Smith wins Dem primary

Gov. Henry McMaster headed to runoff, Rep. James Smith wins nomination from Democrats, big

While none of South Carolina's House seats are expected to be competitive in November, incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford is facing a hard Republican primary on Tuesday against state Rep. Katie Arrington. And hours before polls closed, Trump posted on Twitter supporting her.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that his advisers didn't want him to get involved in the Republican primary, thinking Rep. Mark Sanford "would easily win". A solidly conservative Republican who regularly won elections in the state and usually votes with Trump, his main heresy was in faulting the president for coarsening the national discourse with his bombastic and insulting rhetoric.

Those apostasies came back to haunt Sanford, even though Arrington was also a vocal Trump critic during the 2016 GOP primary.

Voters also cast ballots in Maine, Nevada and North Dakota, as the field for the mid-term elections begins to take shape. The onetime insurgent has made allegiance to his leadership a litmus test in many Republican races.

"I'm happy about that", Hostin said as McCain rolled her eyes.

Runoff for SC GOP gubernatorial race; Rep. Smith wins Dem primary

That was a reference to Sanford's surprise disappearance from the state as governor, which he later revealed was to continue his affair with an Argentine woman.

Nevada's Senate primary became much less interesting when businessman Danny Tarkanian was persuaded by Trump to end his challenge to Republican incumbent Sen. At one point, somebody asked about Article I powers: What will you do to protect them?

Sanford hadn't lost an election in the eight races he has been a part of since he began serving in Congress in 1994.

Sanford is a second U.S. House member from the South attacked by a challenger for criticizing Trump.

Freshman members of the incoming US 114th Congress Mia Love of Utah and Barbara Comstock of Virginia huddle together in freezing temperatures after participating in a class photo on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, November 18, 2014. Vying to defeat her in November are four Democrats who are facing off Tuesday - state Sen.

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Heller's state is Democrat-leaning and was narrowly won by Clinton in 2016, while Heitkamp's is dominated by Republicans and voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

While fealty to the Republican president may be a requirement to win low-turnout Republican primaries dominated by conservative activists, it could prove a tougher sell against energized anti-Trump Democratic forces in midterm elections this fall.

Throughout his political career, Sanford has played up his outsider credentials - both in the US House, where he supported a box to check on federal tax returns to put $3 toward the national debt, and as governor, bringing a pair of squealing pigs to the state House and Senate chamber to protest what he called pork spending.

"They'll say it as if it's an evil word-like "you're a communist" or something", Sanford said in 2009 when he was labeled a "libertarian" by Sen.

A fifty-year-old Afghan War veteran and former S.C. minority leader, Smith was deemed by many in his party as too moderate - especially on the issue of gun control.

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"Don't underestimate Corey, a major chance of winning!" the president added.

The use of the system angered outgoing Republican Governor Paul LePage, who told a television station it was "the most horrific thing in the world".

Recent results have a message, said Rep. Barry Loudermilk in neighboring Georgia.

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