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In contested GOP primaries and Democratic congressional primaries, former President Trump’s influence remains strong. Trump-backed candidates in two closely watched congressional showdowns on Tuesday emerged victorious, showcasing the former president’s enduring endorsement power. Candidates endorsed by Trump, such as California State Assembly member Vince Fong and former adviser Brian Jack in Georgia, have seen success in primary races. Trump’s ability to sway intra-party contests has been highlighted this election cycle, with his endorsements proving crucial in tipping the scales in favor of certain candidates.

In Democratic congressional primaries in Oregon, progressives faced setbacks as more moderate or establishment-backed candidates emerged victorious. Progressives, such as Susheela Jayapal in the 3rd Congressional District, were defeated by more centrist opponents. In the 5th District, establishment Democrats prevailed in their battle against the left, signaling a shift away from progressive candidates in key races. The failure of candidates endorsed by progressive leaders like Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Bernie Sanders to secure nominations demonstrates a trend towards more moderate candidates in Democratic primaries.

The influence of progressive leaders like Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not enough to secure victories for their endorsed candidates in the Oregon primaries. The significant spending on attack ads by outside groups in the races underscores the intensity of the contests. While progressives have been successful in running for office on national platforms, their struggles to connect with voters on local issues have posed challenges in securing nominations in competitive primaries. The lack of local relationships and institutional memory may be hindering progressive candidates from earning the trust of voters in key districts.

In the race for Multnomah County prosecutor, progressive incumbent Mike Schmidt faced a tough challenge from centrist candidate Nathan Vasquez. Schmidt, who has been at the forefront of the criminal justice reform movement, found himself in a referendum on voter concerns over public safety and crime rates in Portland. The outcome of this race could signal a shift in the electorate’s priorities, with tough-on-crime candidates gaining traction in response to rising crime rates and public safety concerns. Schmidt’s potential defeat would add to a growing list of progressive district attorneys who have lost their re-election bids in blue strongholds.

Overall, the recent primary contests in California and Oregon highlight the ongoing power struggle within both the Republican and Democratic parties. While Trump’s endorsement continues to hold considerable sway in GOP primaries, progressive candidates are facing challenges in securing nominations in more moderate districts. The results of these primaries signal a possible shift towards centrist candidates in key races, as voters prioritize local issues and concerns over national agendas. The outcomes of these contests will have broader implications for the upcoming general elections and the future direction of both parties.

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