Fact Check of the Day: Do Trump’s Endorsed Candidates Always Win?

Fact Check of the Day

President Trump claimed that Senate and House candidates he endorses will always win. But four candidates he has backed have lost their races.

Linda Qiu

This requires context.

After Tuesday’s elections, President Trump cherry-picked results to make the case that his endorsement always produces victories for candidates. While candidates backed by Mr. Trump in Republican primaries have almost always won, four of his endorsed candidates have lost their elections.

Republican voters did choose four out of the five candidates Mr. Trump backed in Tuesday’s primary elections. The fifth — Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who is running for governor — is also leading in the polls, but the race is too close to call.

In Ohio’s special congressional election, Troy Balderson, whom Mr. Trump endorsed in July, is leading his Democratic opponent by a razor-thin margin, but The New York Times and other news outlets have yet to declare a winner.

Beyond Tuesday’s elections, Mr. Trump has endorsed at least 18 other winning candidates in primary elections. But Republican voters rejected one of his picks: Luther Strange, who ran for the party’s nomination in Alabama’s Senate election last year.

Several of Mr. Trump’s endorsed Republican candidates — like Representative Karen Handel of Georgia, Representative Ron Estes of Kansas, Representative Greg Gianforte of Montana and Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina — won special elections against Democrats last year. But three — Roy S. Moore in Alabama’s Senate race, Rick Saccone in a special Pennsylvania congressional race and Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race — lost their bids against Democrats.

Mr. Trump also encouraged his supporters to vote for Representative Kevin McCarthy of California and “all of the great GOP candidates for Congress” in the state’s primary elections in June. Under California law, the top two finishers advance to the general election, regardless of party. While Mr. McCarthy did finish first in his primary, Republican candidates failed to qualify for the general election in California’s Senate race and its 44th Congressional District.

Sources: The New York Times, Twitter

Linda Qiu is a fact-check reporter, based in Washington. She came to the Times in 2017 from the fact-checking service PolitiFact. @ylindaqiu

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