The irony is pretty thick with this one. Susan Wright was seeking to replace her husband in Congress, and all she thought she had to do was embrace Trump and everything he stands for, including his disastrous COVID policy that has left over 600,000 Americans dead, including her late husband Ron Wright. He died of complications from COVID-19 in February. Instead, she lost badly on Tuesday in the runoff, despite have a substantial lead in the first round.
Source: Texas Tribune
Susan Wright’s campaign had reasons to feel good Tuesday morning, coming off a tele-rally with former President Donald Trump the night before and armed with internal polling showing she had a comfortable lead over her fellow Republican opponent. But anxiety set in as the day went on and her campaign saw higher-than-expected turnout. Then, a couple hours before polls closed, her consultant, Matt Langston, got a call.
It was from a campaign worker at a polling place, and they said the kinds of voters who were showing up had “definitely changed.” How do you know that? Langston asked.
“Because they’re all wearing masks,” the worker replied.
Naturally enough, the Trump people were freaking out about this race as a bellwether for his continued influence in the party. As Politico noted,
Many privately concede the pressure is on them to win another special election next week in Ohio, where a Trump-backed candidate is locked in a close primary.
Advisers worry that a second embarrassing loss would raise questions about the power of Trump’s endorsement — his most prized political commodity, which candidates from Ohio to Wyoming are scrambling to earn before next year’s midterms. More broadly, losses could undermine his standing in the Republican Party, where his popularity and influence has protected Trump’s relevance even as a former president barred from his social media megaphones.
So they did what they always do: they tried to prop up a loser candidate, just to make Trump himself look more powerful. It didn't work.
Trump advisers say they first became alarmed about their prospects in Texas around a week ago, when they quietly commissioned a survey through the former president’s leadership political action committee showing Republican Jake Ellzey with a 15-point lead over Wright. The Trump team mobilized, with a pair of Trump-aligned groups, Make America Great Again Action and Citizens United Political Victory Fund, purchasing last-minute airtime. Other Trump allies sent word through the former president’s network that Wright could be in trouble.
This lede is really reminiscent of Trump Tulsa rally and the realization by some of his own advisers who thought differently that a lot of Trump voters cared about covid. https://t.co/sjApMybodn
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 29, 2021