This essay has highlighted factors that may have some impact on Tuesday’s elections but that are often overlooked. Because they get plenty of attention from political observers, we didn’t mention the role endorsements play in primaries. This year, their role is more limited than usual.
Endorsements typically serve as another piece of information for voters to use in deciding which candidate to support, but neither party endorsed in any of the contested races for US Senate, governor, or lieutenant governor this year, with the exception of the Democratic lieutenant governor’s race. Of course, an endorsement from former President Trump is the holy grail for Republican candidates. As of this writing, his only endorsement is for Mehmet Oz in the US Senate race. Trump’s endorsement of Oz has elicited some criticism among his supporters, and recent polls showing that Kathy Barnette is increasing her support means that not all conservatives are convinced that Oz is the authentic MAGA candidate. Still, for Republican voters having a hard time deciding between the leading candidates, Trump’s endorsement will probably be the deciding factor.