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Analysis: Why Donald Trump’s ’33-0′ record is a LOT less impressive than it looks

Donald Trump! At least, that is, according to Donald Trump.

“Big night in Texas! All 33 candidates that were Trump endorsed have either won their primary election or are substantially leading in the case of a runoff,” he said on Tuesday night.
“All 33 Trump-Endorsed candidates won last night in Texas, or are substantially leading,” he said on Wednesday. “Big night! How will the Fake News make it look bad?”
“Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona saw the big Primary numbers in Texas, where ‘Trump Endorsements’ went 33 wins and 0 loses, and he said, knowing I would never endorse him, ‘No thanks, I am not going to run for Senate!,'” Trump said on Thursday. “Smart move, Doug—there’s no room for RINOs. I guess that means we can call this week 34 and 0!” (And, yes, he wrote “loses,” not “losses.”)
(Sidebar: Ducey’s decision not to run is a major blow to Republicans.)

Man! Trump really dominated on Tuesday, right?

Here’s the thing: Like MANY things in the world of Trump, there’s less here than meets the eye. Much less.

So, yes, Trump does deserve at least some credit for picking the right horse in contested House Republican primaries like the 15th District (where Monica De La Cruz won outright) and 38th District (where Wesley Hunt did the same). Those races were, at least in theory, up for grabs and somewhat contested — although both Trump-backed candidates won easily.
But that was a very small percentage of his overall endorsements heading into the Texas primary. And when you dig into the bulk of them, a pattern emerges.

Trump endorsed Rep. Lance Gooden in the 5th District. Gooden was uncontested for the Republican nomination.

Trump endorsed Rep. Mike McCaul in the 10th District. McCaul was uncontested for the Republican nomination.

Trump endorsed Rep. Ronny Jackson in the 13th District. Jackson was uncontested for the Republican nomination.

Trump endorsed Rep. Jodey Arrington in the 19th District. Arrington was uncontested for the Republican nomination.

Trump endorsed Rep. Roger Williams in the 25th District. Williams was uncontested for the Republican nomination.

Trump endorsed Rep. Brian Babin in the 36th district. Babin was uncontested for the Republican nomination.

None of these members could have lost in the primary. So endorsing them — and then claiming victory for having done so — is like saying: “Boom, I predicted the sun would rise in the east today.” Or taking credit for breathing.

A number of other Trump-endorsed incumbents won in walkovers against marginal opponents. Rep. Randy Weber won with 89% of the vote. Rep. Troy Nehls won with 87%. Rep. Beth Van Duyne won with 85%. None of them had much of a chance of losing, whether or not Trump had endorsed them.

It’s also worth noting that some of the candidates Trump endorsed in Texas, such as state Attorney General Ken Paxton, were forced into primary runoff elections in May.

All of this is, of course, perfectly Trumpian. It’s not about the reality of something, it’s about the perception. He shouts “33-0” and most people don’t do any of the work to see what that actually means. But if you do dig even slightly below the surface, you see how utterly hollow that claim is.

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