A political freshman and GOP primary challenger has likely clinched the nomination. Madison Cawthorn, a paraplegic 24-year old, is far a typical Republican candidate. He also is the first Republican to win a primary nomination without Trump’s endorsement.
Trump Bumped in Primary
Media outlets have interpreted Cawthorn’s victory as a negative referendum on Donald Trump. The primary election marks the first time the Republican candidate endorsed by Trump didn’t win in the primaries. The president had endorsed real estate businesswoman Lynda Bennett.
Cawthorn and Bennett were the final two candidates in a runoff election, facing off after besting 10 other primary contenders. In the one-on-one election, Cawthorn beat Bennett handily, enjoying a double-digit lead when the results were finally called.
Trump had endorsed Bennett because she was the favored pick of Mark Meadows, his current chief of staff. Meadows had previously occupied the same congressional seat before taking the job, and invested time, energy, and money into securing Bennett his old seat.
Many have focused on the failure to get a win for Meadows choice, assigning blame either to Meadows himself or to his boss, Donald Trump. However, the truth may not lie in the public’s opinion of Meadows or the President, but in the charisma and platform of Cawthorn himself.
Madison Cawthorn is a handsome, confident 24-year old. He delivers his talking points with gusto, sitting squarely upright from his wheelchair. A car accident left him paralyzed in 2014 when he was still a teenager. Cawthorn is a self-declared “constitutional conservative”, and also owns his own real estate investment company.
Cawthorn told Fox News that his platform is based on three key goals: fight socialism, establish term limits for congressmen, and pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The platform seems to have struck a chord with conservative voters in his district.
The US deficit will balloon to a peacetime high this year, largely due to extra spending to combat the economic and public health effects of the pandemic. Serving in Congress has become a lifelong career choice, leading congressmen to put job security above getting things done. As the country struggles to come together, the left is pushing ever harder for a socialist revolution in American politics, culture, and economics.
Against this backdrop, it makes sense that young, fresh conservative face with a simple platform would find success. His message is similar to what Donald Trump campaigned on, and he states his loyalty and excitement to work with the president if elected to Congress.
More Upsets in Store for 2020?
In today’s political climate, it’s a great time to be an outsider. Lifelong non-politicians, such as Donald Trump, have found great success in a public wary of “the swamp” of Washington. Younger candidates Like Ocasio-Cortez and Cawthorn have found success in recent years for the same reason.
Though the two presidential candidates are easy to predict, many new faces could populate the chambers of Congress by this time next year. The feeling that things have gotten stale in Washington is powerful from both sides of the political aisle. Cawthorn’s victory in the primaries only further demonstrates that America is ready for some fresh blood in government.
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