Former President Donald Trump is looking to settle the score Tuesday with three of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him on charges of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan and Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington are fighting for their political lives against Trump-backed primary challengers in races that will test the former president’s political reach.
Mr. Meijer faces the added challenge of Democratic meddling in his race by running ads that seek to lift his primary opponent, John Gibbs.
“It is a very big test for Trump,” Republican Party strategist Steve Mitchell said of Mr. Meijer’s primary race in western Michigan. “One of Trump’s major missions was to make sure all 10 Republicans who voted to impeach him were not in Congress next year.
“Therefore, it is very important for Trump to see Meijer defeated,” Mr. Mitchell said.
So far, half of the pro-impeachment House Republicans will not be returning to Washington next year.
Four of them called it quits rather than face voters again, and Rep. Tom Rice lost to a Trump-backed primary challenger in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District.
Voters on Tuesday will have their say in House, Senate and gubernatorial nomination races in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.
In Kansas, voters also will consider a referendum adding an amendment to the state constitution that would allow state lawmakers to legislate abortion access.
It’s the first referendum vote on abortion policy by a state since the Supreme Court rolled back abortion protections that existed since the 1973 Roe v. wade decision.
The primary battles will set the table for the general election. Democrats are defending their fragile hold on the House and the 50-50 Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris has the tiebreaking vote.
Republicans hope President Biden’s poor approval ratings and the negative impact of inflation will generate a red wave.
Democrats, meanwhile, are scrambling to find seats they can flip.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of House Democrats, has been running what amounts to pro-Gibbs ads during the last week of the primary campaign in Michigan. They see Mr. Gibbs as a weaker general election candidate than Mr. Meijer.
“With Gibbs as the nominee, Democrats would have a better chance to flip the district,” said an analysis by J. Miles Coleman of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
In Washington, Ms. Herrera Beutler has four challengers in the 3rd Congressional District, including from Joe Kent, a former Green Beret who has won Mr. Trump’s support.
Mr. Newhouse faces seven challengers in the 4th Congressional District. His most formidable opponent of him could be Loren Culp, a Trump-endorsed former police chief.
Republicans are playing up their odds of defeating Sen. Patty Murray, the third highest ranking Democrat in the Senate.
They hope Tiffany Smiley, a nurse and veterans advocate, can give Ms. Murray headaches in the fall.
Under Washington’s primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation.
In Michigan, voters will choose a general election opponent for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat whom President Biden vetted as a potential running mate.
The Republican gubernatorial race got off to a rocky start after state election officials removed three candidates from the ballot because their campaigns had submitted forged signatures.
Former television host Tudor Dixon scored Mr. Trump’s endorsement and is viewed as the Republican front-runner.
Mr. Trump announced Monday that he would endorse a Republican in the 21-person race in Missouri for the seat of retiring Sen. Roy Blunt.
The contenders include former Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 against accusations of sexual misconduct; state Attorney General Eric Schmitt; Rep. Vicky Hartzler; Rep. Billy Long; and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis lawyer best known for brandishing firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters marching through his neighborhood.
The state’s other senator, Josh Hawley, has endorsed Ms. Hartzler.
In Arizona, Mr. Trump is backing the Senate campaign of technology investor Blake Masters. His top rivals of his are Jim Lamon, founder of a solar energy firm, and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
Mr. Trump is supporting former television news anchor Kari Lake in the governor’s race. Ms. Lake said she would not have certified the state’s 2020 election results after Mr. Biden narrowly won Arizona.
Former Vice President Mike Pence and outgoing Gov. Doug Ducey, co-chair of the Republican Governors Association, has lined up behind another candidate: Karrin Taylor Robson, a former developer and lobbyist.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is expected to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
In the Republican race for Senate, Mr. Masters has had momentum since winning Mr. Trump’s endorsement in June.
Mr. Brnovich was considered the front-runner early on but has faced withering criticism from Mr. Trump over a refusal to further his claims of a stolen election.
Billionaire businessman Peter Thiel has spent millions of dollars on behalf of Mr. Masters.
The winner of the race will face off against Sen. Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Mr. Kelly won the seat in a 2020 special election and is viewed as one of the most vulnerable Democrats. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.