How Madison Cawthorn may have doomed his reelection campaign

How Madison Cawthorn may have doomed his reelection campaign

If the 2022 midterms see a major red wave, even the most extreme MAGA Republicans are likely to be reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives — including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona. North Carolina’s Rep. Madison Cawthorn certainly fits the descrption of MAGA Republican but in an article published by the Daily Beast on March 24, journalist Sam Brodey explains why Cawthorn is one MAGA Republican who may have doomed his reelection campaign — and it isn’t because of his appalling attack on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a March 10 townhall event.

At a time when Ukraine is suffering a brutal invasion by Russian forces and Europe is seeing its worst military conflict since World War 2, Cawthorn told a crowd in North Carolina, “Remember that Zelensky is a thug. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies.”

Cawthorn was slammed for that comment not only by numerous Democrats, but also, by GOP strategist Karl Rove, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and other well-known conservative Republicans. Cheney denounced Cawthorn as a member of her party’s “Putin wing.”


Among MAGA voters, however, being a useful idiot for the Kremlin isn’t necessarily a liability.

“If the worst thing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) did this month was call Ukraine’s president ‘a thug,’ or get caught speeding multiple times with a revoked license, or accuse Speaker Nancy Pelosi of being an alcoholic, the 26-year-old MAGA influencer would probably be just fine in his reelection bid,” Brodey explains. “But Cawthorn did something far worse, at least for his own political prospects, and it may cost him his seat: He left his constituents — and then was forced to return to them, hat in hand, after the courts predictably struck down the new (redistricting) map on February 23.”

Brodey continues, “The about-face opened up a more damaging line of attack than anything Cawthorn has said or done. It showed, at least briefly, that he was less interested in representing the voters who first elected him than he was in just being in Congress. The numerous candidates challenging Cawthorn in the GOP primary, slated for May, do not intend to let voters in North Carolina’s 11th District forget it.”

Cawthorn, Brodey notes, “could likely have coasted through election season just fine” if “it weren’t for forsaking his district.”

“If the congressman’s opponents can effectively capitalize on his district-switching screw-up,” Brodey observes, “it could provide the missing ingredient for defeating him in a GOP primary.”

The fact that Cawthorn “can’t stop producing cringey headlines,” Brodey writes, won’t necessarily, in itself, be his downfall. But that, combined with the redistricting controversy, could doom his campaign, according to the Daily Beast reporter.

Brodey notes, “On March 14, video resurfaced of Cawthorn telling MAGA activist Charlie Kirk that he had brought ‘multiple weapons’ with him to the U.S. Capitol on January 6…. Then, local reports came out detailing how Cawthorn had his driver’s license revoked, drove without it anyway, and racked up a string of hefty speeding tickets. He then capped it all off by publicly suggesting that Pelosi — who famously doesn’t drink — is an alcoholic. The telegenic Cawthorn may have a made-for-TV jawline, but what comes out of it is, largely, a stream of embarrassment.”

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