It is almost a replay of the 2016 Presidential Campaign where Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were fighting for the right to see who would lead the Republican Party.
Only this time the battlefield is not for the White House but in the Republican Senate Primary in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other critical states for the GOP in an effort to take back the Senate.
Observers within the party are viewing upcoming primaries with great curiosity given Cruz’ public statements about running for president again and Trump continuing to tease another run as well.
In two closely watched Senate primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Trump and Cruz are on opposite sides of the race. Trump endorsed outsiders in both races, conservative commentator J.D. Vance in Ohio and talk show host Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, while Cruz is backing more establishment figures in those two states. Those are former State Treasurer Josh Mandel in Ohio and hedge fund CEO David McCormick in Pennsylvania.
It has members of the Republican Senate caucus taking notice.
“It’ll be an interesting experiment,” said Texas Senator John Cornyn told Politico.
“Obviously, President Trump and Sen. Cruz have history.”
While they are on opposite sides of these two races the battle with Trump does not extend to other parts of the country. In North Carolina, both men have picked Congressman Ted Budd while Former State Attorney General Adam Laxalt has been endorsed by Cruz and Trump in Nevada where there is an opportunity to flip a Democrat seat.
But it is clear that Cruz is making a strong play for the candidates he is backing regardless if they have Trump’s support. The Texas Senator is planning on visiting Ohio this weekend to support Mandel and making another trip to Pennsylvania in May 17th primary.
“He makes his own endorsement decisions. I had endorsed Mandel well before President Trump got involved,” Cruz told Politico of his early April endorsement. He also noted that he’s backing “all sorts of candidates all over the country who President Trump is supporting as well.”
Who do you think will win in this endorsement battle for the Republican nominees for Senate in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? How does it make you feel that they are on the opposite side of these races?