Two more incumbent House Republicans forced into primary runoffs
Two House Republicans from Mississippi were forced into primary runoffs on Tuesday after failing to reach the 50% threshold to win outright, according to the Associated Press.
Why it matters: It's rare for a House member to struggle to win their party's nomination, but this year has proved an unprecedented minefield for Republican lawmakers seeking re-election.
- Two Republican incumbents have already lost primaries this cycle: Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), who had myriad scandals, and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), who was seen as disloyal to former President Trump.
- Others could be on the chopping block, most notably Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment like Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.).
Driving the news: Reps. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) and Michael Guest (R-Miss.) were both kept under 50% by primary challengers.
- Guest, who voted for a bipartisan commission to investigate Jan. 6, will face off against test pilot Michael Cassidy, who has called to end birthright citizenship and said Guest's commission vote makes him "not a conservative."
- Palazzo's is a more classic case: After coming under investigation for alleged misuse of campaign funds, he won just 32% of the vote in a seven-way race and will face county sheriff Mike Ezell in a runoff.
- Both results are something of an upset: Palazzo and Guest outraised their respective foes roughly 2-to-1.
State of play: Guest is far from the only Republican to face political repercussions after voting for the commission.
- McKinley lost to Trump-endorsed fellow Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) after voting for the commission and a bipartisan infrastructure bill Trump blasted.
- Rep. Van Taylor (R-Texas) was forced into a runoff over his vote, but then dropped his re-election bid after admitting to an extramarital affair.
- Several others have resigned or announced plans to retire.
Between the lines: Of the three House Republicans in Mississippi's congressional delegation, former President Trump only endorsed Rep. Trent Kelly's (R-Miss.) re-election bid.
- Trump has tried to make his endorsement the gold standard for GOP candidates and incumbents to assert his hold on the party and purge disloyalty.
- In doing so, he has often given blanket endorsements to Republican House incumbents — with notable exceptions.
Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note that Palazzo ran in a primary with seven candidates, not three.