Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis’ primary loss Tuesday was actually an outlier for House Republicans who supported an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Most who did so have won their primaries so far.
Davis was one of 35 House Republicans to support the commission. So far, 16 of those Republicans have won their primaries, while Davis is one of three lawmakers who lost. Seven are facing primaries in August, seven of those Republicans are retiring and two have resigned.
So why did just a few of these lawmakers lose and several more were able to win despite that vote? It probably comes down to one person: Former President Donald Trump.
The three Republicans who have lost so far — Davis, West Virginia Rep. David McKinley, and South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice — all faced Trump-backed challengers and Trump actively campaigned in their districts.
All but one of these 16 Republicans who have won their primaries have faced primary challengers, but Trump didn’t formally endorse any of them (Iowa’s Mariannette Miller-Meeks was the only Republican who ran unopposed in her primary).
But victories for House Republicans who backed the commission could diminish in August.
Of the seven facing August primaries, four are facing Trump-backed primary challengers. Those lawmakers include Wyoming’s Liz Cheney, Michigan’s Peter Meijer, and Washington’s Jaime Herrera Buetler and Dan Newhouse. All four also voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 attack.
The measure establishing an independent commission passed the House but failed in the Senate. Five Republicans voted for the proposed commission, and just one one of them — Alaska's Lisa Murkowski — is running for re-election this year.