Tue. Feb 7th, 2023

Voters in five states are going to the polls on Tuesday in some of the states that were battlegrounds in 2020 — and will be again in 2024. And abortion faces its first test at the ballot box since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, as Kansas voters decide whether abortion should be constitutionally protected.

With former President Donald Trump’s influence looming large in some of Tuesday’s primaries, a CBS News poll released Tuesday showed that for Republicans, a Trump endorsement is a plus for that candidate, and even more so among Republicans who say they “always” vote in Republican primaries, most of whom identify as MAGA Republicans. 


In Arizona, former President Donald Trump has rallied for his allies in the Senate, governor and secretary of state races. Arizona was one of the key battleground states that went for President Joe Biden in 2020. After the election, some Republicans in the state tried to overturn the results, with a plan to send a slate of phony alternate electors who supported Trump to Congress for the Electoral College certification, rather than the electors won by President Biden. 

In the Republican primary to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in November, Trump has backed Blake Masters, who has a comfortable lead according to two polls ahead of the primary. 

For governor, former TV news anchor Kari Lake and lawyer Karrin Taylor Robson are in a tight contest for the GOP nomination that repeats a dynamic between Trump and former Vice President MIke Pence. Trump has backed Lake, while Pence, along with term-limited sitting Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, have backed Taylor Robson. Last month, Trump and Pence held dueling rallies for Lake and Robson on the same day. 

Election 2022 Arizona
A where to vote sign points voters in the direction of the polling station as the sun beats down as Arizona voters go the polls to cast their ballots, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Phoenix.

Ross D. Franklin / AP

Trump has also backed a challenger to state House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified in June at a House Jan. 6 committee public hearing. Bowers is term-limited out of that position but is running for state Senate. Days before the primary, the Arizona GOP voted to formally censure him for his testimony, a culmination of the frustrations many far-right members have with Bowers’ past refusal to support Trump-backed attempts to overturn the 2020 election. 

This year, Bowers helped block a bill, introduced by Secretary of State candidate and current state Rep. Shawnna Bolick, to empower the legislature to choose its own electors, regardless of how the people voted. For his actions, the former president lashed out against him, calling the Speaker a “RINO coward,” and endorsed his opponent, former state Sen. David Farnsworth.


Trump issued a last-minute semi-endorsement in the Republican primary for the open Senate seat in Missouri. On Monday night, he threw his support behind “ERIC.” There are two leading candidates in the race named Eric, Eric Schmitt and Eric Greitens. Both claimed they have Trump’s endorsement. 

In Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Cori Bush, who unseated a longtime incumbent in 2020, is facing several challengers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch endorsed both Bush and opponent Steve Roberts, writing that “too many deeply personal issues are likely to dominate voters’ decisions in ways that wouldn’t necessarily be swayed by an editorial endorsement.”

Meanwhile, three of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are facing Trump-backed primary challengers. Trump posted Tuesday on Truth Social to urge Republican voters to “knock out impeachment slime.” 


In Michigan, Rep. Peter Meijer, a freshman Republican in a swing district centered around Grand Rapids, Mich., is in a tough race against John Gibbs, a former Trump-era Housing and Urban Development official.


And in Washington, the top two vote-getters will advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the 3rd District and Dan Newhouse in the 4th District both face the risk of being shut out because of Trump-backed challengers. 


For the first time since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, a state is voting on whether the right to an abortion may be constitutionally protected. In 2019, Kansas’ state Supreme Court ruled that abortion is protected in the state constitution’s bill of rights. Voters are deciding whether to allow the constitution to be amended in order to ban abortion rights.

In other words, a “yes” vote for the amendment would enable an abortion ban to be passed.

A “no” vote on the amendment means abortion rights would be preserved.  

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