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Far-Right Republicans Face Tough Races in Swing Districts, Testing McCarthy


“Nobody can bat a thousand,” he said. “And while a number of candidates from outside the mainstream have emerged that can have challenges winning a general election, the playing field is greater than wide enough to recapture a majority.”

In a number of cases, the candidate whom Mr. McCarthy did not defeat is flourishing, and the end result of the first won’t affect Republicans’ probabilities in the final election. Recent public polls have shown Mr. Williams, for example, ahead of Francis Conole, the Democrat competing for an open seat in a competitive district in upstate Recent York.

Mr. McCarthy’s super PAC often spends in places where its favored candidate is struggling, so it shouldn’t be surprising that even with the skin boost of funds, a few of those candidates still lost. Overall, the Congressional Leadership Fund sees its primary spending as a hit story. The group helped several Republican incumbents fend off challenges from more extreme candidates in competitive districts, including Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania, David Valadao and Young Kim in California and Andrew Garbarino in Recent York.

“By recruiting strong candidates and supporting them through their primaries, we were in a position to make our own luck,” said Dan Conston, the organization’s president. “Candidate quality matters, and proactively engaging put us in a dramatically higher position not to simply win the bulk, but to elect stars that will likely be the long run of the party.”

But elsewhere across the country, right-wing candidates whom Mr. McCarthy tried to knock out have prevailed, bolstering Democrats’ possibilities of winning a seat.

In Arizona, Kelly Cooper, who has refused to acknowledge the 2020 election results and called for the immediate release of people that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, defeated Tanya Wheeless, the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant whom Mr. McCarthy’s PAC endorsed and helped fund.

Within the Third Congressional District in Washington, a gaggle aligned with Mr. McCarthy, Take Back the House 2022, donated to Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, who was considered one of 10 Republicans who voted to question Mr. Trump. But she was defeated in her primary by Joe Kent, who has said he would oppose Mr. McCarthy for the speakership if elected.

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