Takeaways from Tuesday’s US primaries

By James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The battle for abortion rights and the influence of former President Donald Trump loomed large as voters in several states went to the polls on Tuesday. Here are some takeaways from the last midterm election of 2022:

ABORTION LINES DRAWN IN MICHIGAN

In the Michigan governor’s race, there will be no middle ground when it comes to abortion rights.

Tudor Dixon, a relative political unknown who received a last-minute endorsement from former President Donald Trump, emerged from the Republican pack on Tuesday to face Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the November general election.

Whitmer has made the US Supreme Court’s undoing of constitutional protections for abortion a focal point in her reelection campaign. Dixon supports an almost complete ban on abortion, including for children who are victims of rape and incest, with the sole exception of cases where the mother’s life is in danger.

A legal battle is underway in the state over the enforcement of a 1931 abortion ban. At the same time, abortion rights supporters are trying to put a measure on the November ballot that would legalize abortion in the state.

With just three months until the election, longtime Republican pollster Steve Mitchell said Dixon has plenty of time to face a competitive challenge to Whitmer and should see a strong flow of campaign funds from out of state.

Dixon is a former steel industry businesswoman who has billed herself as a “conservative mother” of four who resisted COVID-19 lockdowns in schools. Mitchell said she could appeal to like-minded parents and make a strong defense against Whitmer, who often talks about her own role as a mother of daughters and has also been criticized for her corona measures.

“It’s going to be a fascinating race,” said Mitchell. “In my opinion, none of the men (in the Republican field) could have beaten Whitmer.”

ERIC VS. ERIC

One Eric won the Republican primary for the US Senate in Missouri and another Eric lost. As for the national Republicans, the right Eric had the upper hand.

Eric Schmitt, the attorney general, defeated former Missouri governor Eric Greitens, whose campaign was marred by allegations of abuse by his ex-wife.

Polls ahead of the primary showed that if Greitens wins the nomination, he could run against the Democratic nominee in November and might jeopardize a Senate seat that Republicans can’t afford to lose if they control the chamber. want to grab. A Republican-affiliated group launched a TV campaign to derail Greitens’ chances.

None of that stopped Trump from taking the unusual course on Monday by approving “ERIC” without specifying which one, leading both candidates to claim Trump’s support and give Greitens a lifeline.

Schmitt is now expected to handily win the seat this fall, saving the party from shifting resources to Missouri that it had reserved for other Senate races.

Republicans need a net gain of one seat to take control of the chamber.

(Reporting by James Oliphant; editing by Colleen Jenkins and Cynthia Osterman)

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