Republicans Split on Recent Trump Campaign Moves and Endorsements

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jun 11, 2024

Republicans have become noticeably split on recent campaign moves and endorsements by former President Donald Trump.

As many Republicans vie to win a seat in this year’s upcoming election cycle, Trump has endorsed many GOP candidates. However, in some of these cases, more conservative members of the GOP have differed with who Trump has chosen to endorse.

Trump’s Endorsements

In the past few years, various elections around the country have proven that Trump’s endorsements can go a long way when it comes to GOP primaries.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and blue tie.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

In these primaries, the candidate that has been publicly endorsed by the former present often ends up winning. For many in the GOP, Trump endorsements have become a pivotal part of their election cycle.


Trump’s Recent Backings

Most recently, Trump has decided to show his support in the GOP primary for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. This district is considered to be one of the biggest contests this year.

John McGuire with Miss Virginia Teen and Miss Virginia.

Source: Virginia Office of the Governor/Wikimedia Commons

In May, Trump officially revealed who he would be backing in this primary: state Senator John McGuire.

John McGuire vs Bob Good

McGuire is running a close race against Representative Bob Good. Not too long ago, Good had supported Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his presidential run against Trump.

The official portrait of Rep. Bob Good.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

At the time, many MAGA Republicans had attacked Good for siding with DeSantis over Trump. Now, it appears that Good’s moves have left a bad taste in the former president’s mouth.

Trump Is Against Good

When Trump endorsed McGuire in May in this GOP primary, he took to Truth Social to also blast Good.

Donald Trump talking in front of a podium with his hand raised.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Trump wrote, “Bob Good is BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA. He turned his back on our incredible movement, and was constantly attacking and fighting me until recently, when he gave a warm and ‘loving’ Endorsement. But really, it was too late. The damage had been done!”

Republicans Differ on Good vs McGuire Race

Since this endorsement, many Republicans have noticeably announced a different frame of mind on the McGuire-Good GOP primary.

The official portrait of Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Most notably, conservative Republican Representative Matt Gaetz — a politician who often aligns himself with MAGA and Trump — has come out to endorse Good, rather than McGuire.


Gaetz Breaks With Trump Over Good Election

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Gaetz let his opinion known when he shared a post by another user, which said, “I speak for all of MAGA when I say, we don’t want another McCarthy plant in Congress. We want Bob Good, one of the best legislators doing the people’s work in that disgusting swamp.”

Matt Gaetz speaking into a microphone in front of an American flag.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Gaetz simply reshared this post, while adding his own comment about how people should vote for Good. Gaetz also tagged the representative in his post.


Other Trump Endorsements

While many Republicans have already become split over his endorsement of McGuire, various hardline conservatives have become even more worried over Trump’s other endorsements.

The official portrait of Rep. William Timmons.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Trump recently endorsed incumbent Representative William Timmons. Timmons, a Republican in South Carolina, is currently facing many opponents in the GOP primary from the right.


Republicans Criticize Trump Campaign Moves

These most recent endorsements have caused hard-line conservatives to criticize what the former president is doing. For many of these Republicans, Trump isn’t endorsing the right people. He’s choosing to back those who aren’t even conservative.

A close-up of a Republican elephant red and blue logo on a black surface.

Source: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Ohio Representative Warren Davidson said, “He is endorsing moderates in most races if there’s a conservative in the race. We can’t send the swamp any people that are just going to keep funding the status quo.”


MAGA Republicans Warn Trump

Many of these MAGA GOP members have even warned Trump publicly, explaining that he needs to be more aware of who he’s choosing to endorse in the primaries.

The U.S. Capitol building seen in the daytime underneath a cloudy blue sky.

Source: Elijah Mears/Unsplash

Representative Dan Bishop stated, “I hope he’s paying close attention because he needs allies in Congress and not continuing what many are doing, which is blocking his path.”


Trump’s Influence in the Primaries

The past few years have shown that Trump’s influence in GOP primary elections can truly go a long way.

The official portrait of Liz Cheney.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Trump’s influence was perhaps most well seen when former Representative Liz Cheney was outed and replaced by a Trump loyalist that the former president publicly endorsed. In various primaries around the country, loyalists to Trump tend to come out on top.


Primaries vs General Elections

However, the results of a primary differ from the results of a general election. Though Trump’s backing can help people win a GOP primary, this can’t necessarily be said about winning a general election.

A close-up on a red MAGA hat seen on a table outside.

Source: Natilyn Photography/Unsplash

In many competitive congressional and state districts, Trump-backed loyalists lost to Democrats.