Trump Critic Rejected by Republican Voters in South Carolina

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Today, three hours before the polls closed, President Trump came out against Sanford, calling him "nothing but trouble".

Trump tweets Wednesday that his advisers didn't want him to get involved in the Republican primary, thinking Rep. Mark Sanford "would easily win". His office said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail but he was actually visiting his mistress in Argentina. Afterwards, in 2013, he somehow won a special election for the first district seat, filling the vacancy left when Tim Scott was appointed to the Senate.

In the Democratic primary in South Carolina's first House district, local lawyer Joe Cunningham handily defeated Toby Smith, a black female nonprofit consultant, with 71.5% of all votes.

While Sanford's defiance of Trump cost him, Virginia congresswoman Barbara Comstock handily won her primary against a more conservative candidate who accused her of being a "Never Trumper".

FILE PHOTO: Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) attends a picnic for members of Congress hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington September 17, 2014. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. House Speaker Paul Ryan (D-WI) let it be known that he is supporting Sanford, who Trump said "has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA". "Sanford's performances in the past have been weak", Kondik said, "Very rarely do House members lose re-nomination and Sanford but a logical candidate given his opposition to Trump and his general weakness with the electorate". Alabama Rep. Martha Roby, who vowed not to vote for then-candidate Trump after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women, has been forced into a primary runoff.

Sanford says, "It's not what anybody would yearn for in the world of politics, but it is what it is".

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With almost half of the vote counted, Arrington had a slight lead on Sanford, but it was unclear if she would manage to gain the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff between the top two vote-getters later this month.

It's unusual for a president to actively endorse a challenger to an incumbent member of his own party.

Bruce Ransom, a Clemson University political science professor, said it is possible Trump's last-minute endorsement carried Arrington over the top.

"I think we're working hard and we plan to win this primary", McMaster said. In his remarks Tuesday night, he said: "I stand by every one of those decisions to disagree with the president". The president's tweet also calls Virginia's Democratic Sen. There are nine congressional primaries in South Carolina's seven U.S. House seats.

Democratic State Sen. Jennifer Wexton was the clear victor in a six-way primary in a northern Virginia district considered key to the House battleground map this fall, and will challenge Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock. The liberal environmental lawyer cleared his own primary hurdle on Tuesday, and is hoping a "blue wave" this November will carry him to victory and flip this seat back to the Democrats after almost four decades of "Republican" control. And past year Sanford had been vocal in indicating concerns about what he said were constant impolite and incendiary comments from Trump Sanford said then that the president seemed to make public discourse worse, not better.