Also in this category are Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington. Upton faces Trump-backed state Rep. Steve Carra, who recently introduced legislation to audit Michigan’s 2020 election results. This, in large part, explains his endorsement by the former president, which could help topple Upton, who was also censured by at least five GOP county committees in his district for supporting impeachment. Upton has been around for a long time (he won his first election in 1986), but he might be vulnerable, too, as his lone 2020 primary opponent won 37 percent despite raising almost no money and attracting little notice — and this was before Upton voted to impeach Trump. Meanwhile, Herrera Beutler’s main challenger in Washington is Trump endorsee Joe Kent, a former Special forces officer and husband to a Gold Star recipient. Like Carra, Kent has questioned the 2020 election results, telling CNN in July that “I think Trump won, but I want to prove it.” However, the electoral math might be more complicated in Washington than Michigan because of Washington’s top-two primary system (also used in California), where the top-two vote getters — regardless of party — advance to the November general election. If Democrats consolidate around one candidate, Herrera Beutler could still attract enough backing from some Republicans and independents to finish second and advance. Moreover, the anti-Herrera Beutler vote could be fragmented among Kent and Heidi St. John, a Christian author and home-schooling advocate who has criticized Kent as a carpetbagger who only recently moved to the southwestern Washington district.
While Reps. Tom Rice of South Carolina and Dan Newhouse of Washington don’t yet have Trump-endorsed opponents, they still face more primary woes than redistricting problems. Rice, for instance, has to win a majority of the vote in the Republican primary — or a majority in a runoff if no candidate initially wins more than 50 percent of the vote. This isn’t true of the other Republicans we’ve examined, which means a crowded candidate field could be especially tricky for Rice as he can’t skate by with a plurality win in the primary. Rice currently faces at least three serious-looking GOP opponents in conservative media personality Graham Allen, state Rep. Russell Fry and Horry County school board chair Ken Richardson, along with a host of other Republicans. (Eight Republicans are running against Rice so far.) Newhouse, meanwhile, also has three notable Republican opponents: Loren Culp, a former police officer and Washington’s GOP nominee for governor in 2020, as well as state Rep. Brad Klippert and businessman Jerrod Sessler.