Trump pleads with voters to give Madison Cawthorn a ‘second chance’ before competitive primary

Madison Cawthorn still has Donald Trump’s backing in the primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, but the former president appears to acknowledge that his acolyte is in danger of being undone by his own scandals.

In a statement posted Monday morning on his Truth Social platform, Trump pleaded with voters to “give Madison a second chance” and took the rare step of acknowledging that the congressman’s various scandals were stalled.

“Recently, he made some dumb mistakes, which I don’t think he’ll make again,” the former president said.

The list of Cawthorn’s “dumb mistakes,” as the former president put it, is long and growing. In recent weeks he has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with a revoked license and cited for carrying a weapon through airport security; The 26-year-old congressman’s troubles, however, go much deeper, as last month he faced a public rebuke from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after Cawthorn accused (without naming) his colleagues to use cocaine and invited him to an orgy.

The embattled Republican now faces the prospect of trying to win Tuesday’s primary election (and potentially a runoff if no candidate tops 30 percent) without the support of a single member of North Carolina’s congressional delegation and the opposition. from Thom Tillis, one of the state’s US senators and one of Cawthorn’s main political opponents, aligned with Trump.

His main rival is Chuck Edwards, a member of the North Carolina State Senate, but the first-term congressman also faces national opposition in the form of a well-funded “Fire Madison” super PAC that has somehow gotten photos. sexually explicit and sometimes invasive. and videos of Mr. Cawthorn in various embarrassing situations and posted them online in a slow leak campaign that has attracted headlines for weeks.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a member of the Jan. 6 caucus and a political outcast among many in his own party, will also host a virtual watch party Tuesday to celebrate Cawthorn’s possible loss to Edwards or potentially another rival. If no candidate gets 30 percent of the vote and the race goes to a runoff, the odds for Cawthorn’s challenger will improve greatly, as the opposition vote is likely to consolidate behind them.

Polling on the race is scant, but a poll released by GOPAC, a Republican-aligned candidate training organization, in late April found Cawthorn’s support falling rapidly while Edwards was seeing his support rise. In the poll, Cawthorn garnered the support of 38 percent of voters, while Edwards followed with 21 percent.

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