Donald Trump may no longer have the death grip on the GOP that he had while in office, but when it comes to the party’s base, his power remains unmatched. Nowhere has Trump’s sway been clearer than in the success of his GOP Senate endorsements: Eight out of nine Trump-handpicked candidates in competitive races have won their primaries.
Alas, the former president has crafted a slate of Senate hopefuls that each reflect some aspect of Trump back to their Dr. Frankenstein—and to everyone else. Mehmet Oz, J. D. Vance, and Herschel Walker are all, like Trump, semi-celebrities. Both Walker and Oz have their own histories of making sketchy business-related claims, while Vance—who was, up until the past few years, a Never Trumper—has proved he shares Trump’s mercenary willingness to shift allegiances to get elected. Then there’s Blake Masters, who, like Trump, has gone on the record with a wildly racist claim.