The loss of Madison Cawthorn undermines the power of a Trump endorsement
- Madison Cawthorn has smashed Donald Trump’s claim of having an “unprecedented” approval record.
- Cawthorn is a Trump ally who the former president said deserved a “second chance” in Congress.
- Cawthorn lost his first race to Chuck Edwards, debunking the myth of the power of Trump support.
Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s loss in North Carolina to her main challenger, Chuck Edwards, has shattered the myth surrounding the power of former President Donald Trump’s political endorsements.
Trump threw the embattled congressman a lifeline ahead of his primary on Tuesday, posting on Truth Social – Trump’s social media platform – a call for voters to “give Madison a second chance.” In his article, Trump wrote that Cawthorn had recently “made some stupid mistakes, which I don’t believe he will make again.”
However, Trump’s backing did little to push Cawthorn over the line to beat Edwards, a candidate backed by a Republican-linked super PAC and endorsed by a senator from the home state of Cawthorn, Thom Tillis.
Cawthorn’s loss comes after a series of scandals: In March, he angered GOP lawmakers by making allegations about orgies and cocaine use by DC lawmakers. The following month he was accused by a former member of staff of being a “habitual liar” and received a second citation for smuggling a loaded gun into an airport.
The lawmaker may also have violated the STOCK Act by failing to disclose his purchases of the “Let’s Go Brandon” crypto coin.
Snaps of Cawthorn wearing lingerie on a cruise – which he called “goofy vacation pics” – were also leaked in April. He was also the subject of two leaked videos uploaded by a PAC who campaigned against his re-election. Cawthorn rejected both videos as part of a “drip campaign” to oust him.
Cawthorn’s ousting comes weeks after Trump boldly asserted that his support for Republican candidates was vital to their success.
“My record is unparalleled, my endorsements, it’s totally unparalleled. Nobody’s ever had a record like this. I’m almost unblemished,” Trump said during an interview with David Brody in the “The 700 Club” program of the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Trump said on the show that Republicans should be afraid of him if their views don’t match his. “Because if I approve them, they win, and if I don’t approve them, they don’t win. I mean, that’s almost 100% of the case,” the former president said.
A Trump-backed GOP victory is certainly not guaranteed if this week’s results are up to snuff. Another Trump-backed political candidate, Charles Herbster, lost his run for governor of Nebraska last week amid allegations of sexual assault by eight women.
Meanwhile, other Trump-backed figures, including Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue, have struggled to keep up with their respective races.
However, Trump-backed candidates have also had some electoral victories.
JD Vance won his primary for the Ohio Senate on May 4, while Doug Mastriano, an undisputed favorite backed by Trump, won his race in the Pennsylvania governor’s primary. Mastriano is best known for being a 2020 election denier and participating in the plot to undo the loss of then-President Donald Trump to the state.
Trump has made 183 mentions since leaving office, according to Ballotpedia, many of which have yet to be played.
For his part, Cawthorn conceded the race to Edwards, according to The Associated Press.