September 7

By Elliott Davis Jr.

Tuesday marked another primary win for a candidate supported by former President Donald Trump – this time in Massachusetts, where former state Rep. Geoff Diehl will face Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey in the state’s gubernatorial race in November.

Diehl defeated Chris Doughty, a businessman and a political moderate, in a race called by The Associated Press late Tuesday night, winning by more than 10 percentage points, according to The Boston Globe. In the Democratic primary, Healey’s victory means she’ll have the opportunity to become the first woman and first openly gay candidate to be elected governor of Massachusetts.

Recent polling indicates that is likely to happen. Late July polling from Suffolk University and The Globe showed Healey with a 30-point advantage over both Diehl and Doughty. More recently, FiveThirtyEight has the attorney general with a greater than 99 in 100 chance of beating the GOP nominee.

That means Diehl has joined the growing list of Trump-backed candidates who have won state primaries – and will have a hard time winning November’s general election. Other such candidates include state Rep. Dan Cox in the Maryland gubernatorial race and Leora Levy, Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s challenger for a Senate seat in Connecticut. Tim Michels, who won the Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial primary after being endorsed by Trump, is polling closer to his opponent, Gov. Tony Evers, than others but was still behind 2 points in a Marquette Law School survey from mid-August.

In Trump’s official endorsement of Diehl in October 2021, the former president took the opportunity to criticize Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, calling him a “RINO,” or “Republican in name only,” with “green climate views.” Baker decided not to seek a third term, making it likely that the state’s gubernatorial seat would flip to blue. Democrats have since seized on Diehl’s comments related to the former president, with the Democratic Governors Association in August linking to a radio interview where the candidate claimed the 2020 election “definitely was an election that was stolen from Trump.”

But regardless of what happens in November, Tuesday’s result shows that Trump still has the power of endorsement despite his ongoing legal troubles, including the Justice Department investigation into the possible mishandling of classified government documents at his Florida estate.