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A series of Republican primaries is set to test Trump’s influence on the GOP

Former president Trump has endorsed candidates running in at least 40 primary races in May.
Former president Trump has endorsed candidates running in at least 40 primary races in May.

The Ohio primary kicks off a month of similar contests in vital swing states from Pennsylvania to Georgia. And there’s one unofficial candidate on the ballot: former President Donald Trump.

According to a New York Times count, the former president has endorsed candidates in at least 40 Republican primaries. His pick for Ohio’s crucial open Senate seat is J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy.” He’s one of seven candidates. Only one candidate in that race has denied Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election.

It’s common theme among a majority of the Republican candidates. According to focus groups conducted by GOP strategist Sarah Longwell, roughly 70 percent of voters are leaning into the big lie as well.

So what’s at stake for the Republican Party in these midterms? And how will Trump’s picks fare at the polls?

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