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Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Ascension in Arkansas Shows Trump’s Enduring Political Power

Former Trump White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders essentially cleared the field for Arkansas governor this week.

SO WHAT

Sanders’ political success shows rumors of former President Donald Trump’s declining political influence have been exaggerated and, in Republican circles, being a Trump alumnus holds enduring cache.

WHAT HAPPENED

Sanders, the Trump favorite and daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, has never run for office before – but that didn’t stop her from muscling out Attorney General Leslie Rutledge from the race this month, on the back of Trump’s early endorsement.

Trump endorsed Sanders just five days after leaving the White House:

TRUMP IS STILL THE KING

When Trump left office with a dismal approval rating last January, whispers erupted that he’d lost his political mojo.

The upshot: Trump-endorsed candidates in major Republican primaries are likely to be winners, especially if they worked for him in the White House.

OK, BUT

Trump’s batting average isn’t perfect, and that includes his whiff last year, when he endorsed the opponent of Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who would go on to GOP stardom, in the North Carolina Republican primary.

 

  • Meanwhile, some party insiders have questioned Trump’s judgement, including his endorsement of former NFL star Herschel Walker in Georgia, who has struggled with personal issues, as well as Sean Parnell in Pennsylvania, who stands accused of domestic violence.

BOTTOM LINE

Misses aside, virtually no Republican would turn him down; Trump has the power to effectively decide races from Ohio to Arizona.

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