Leading into Tuesday night's South Carolina primary, the question was how two challengers endorsed by the former president would fare against incumbent Republicans who had drawn the ire of Trump. The result was one win and one loss.
In the 7th Congressional District, Trump-endorsed Russell Fry easily defeated Tom Rice, who had been a strong supporter of Trump's policies but voted to impeach the former president. But in the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Nancy Mace held off her Trump-backed challenger, Katie Arrington. Mace didn't vote for impeachment, but was critical of Trump related to January 6.
Dr. Charles Dunn, professor emeritus of government at Clemson University, wasn't surprised Trump went 1-1.
"The races ended up the way I expected they would, that Trump would lose one and he would win one," Dunn tells AFN. "Trump's cutting edge is getting a little bit dull – and the result of that is that it's going to be more difficult for Trump to mount a strong campaign with a sharp cutting edge."
Dunn bases his conclusion on political discussions he's had with a number of people in South Carolina and elsewhere.
"Trump doesn't have that sharp cutting edge he once had because he's alienated so many people who once were avid Trump supporters," the conservative pundit states. "I hear so many folks who say [things like] Boy, I hope Trump will just drop out. He's his own worst enemy. He's hurting the party. That's how I see it in a nutshell."
Rice, one of the incumbents seeking reelection who voted to impeach Trump, was soundly defeated by Fry (51%-24.7%) on Tuesday. One columnist sees that as a bad omen for other GOP House members who voted for impeachment as well, including Wyoming's Liz Cheney.
Cheney, who is vice chair of the House select committee currently investigating January 6, is facing a Republican primary against a Trump-endorsed challenger, Harriet Hageman. A June 6 poll of Wyoming voters indicates Hageman is an overwhelming favorite (56%-28%) to unseat Cheney.