The bad news keeps increasing for Republicans. Not only did they lose the Senate and House, but they face an ever-difficult time getting an upper hand in the House. And the most recent news from Washington State's 3rd Congressional District, which voted R+13 in 2020, Trump's personal choice, Joe Kent, has lost to Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. This is a major loss for the GOP who had to retain the seat that is now owned by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler for a majority. It could be a slam dunk in the deep red southwest of Washington.
The decision Desk HQ called the race:
“Hererra Beutler was elected to the seat in 2020. She defeated the Democrat challenger by 13 points. The seat was hers since winning it in 2010, and has never had to face an enthralling Democrat challenger in the largely Republican district prior to this year. She seemed like a sure-winner to hold her seat in the current year, up until Donald Trump threw his support for her Republican primary opponent, Joe Kent.”
It is believed that Herrera Beutler incurred the wrath of Trump in early 2021 after she voted in favor of impeaching him after the 6th of January. She then voted in support of the establishment of the commission on January 6 and claimed that the president was guilty of encouraging violence in the Capitol.
However, Joe Kent, a former Green Beret and Trump's ally, also echoed his allegations of voter fraud during Trump's 2020 presidential campaign, getting Trump's support. The support he received carried him through the primary but was not enough for him to replicate Herrera Beutler's previous victories in the election.
Conservatives on Twitter immediately reacted with surprise.
There's no reason to be surprised that people are shocked by the outcome. Along with being a firmly Republican district for decades, the political experts at FiveThirtyEight have given Kent 98% odds of winning. This could be the most shocking upset of 2022.
Kent seemed confident about winning the primary in August and declared the district “deep red MAGA country.”
Perez stated that the results revealed that the majority of voters in the 3rd District reject that ideology.
Perez's winning margin is extremely small; she is trailing by approximately 4,600 votes. Therefore, WA03 isn't an opportunity to write-off Republicans; however, it will be a wake-up call. It's possible that Perez is wrong, and the MAGA message continues to resonate in the country. It could be that the messengers are the issue, as is evident in numerous races across the country.
The Republicans have been desperate to win this seat to take over the House. They now have to endure another two years as an opposition party. This defeat is extremely painful for them.
What is the lesson? Primary elections are a source of concern.