Republican races in Indiana, West Virginia top voting in four states.

Bitter Republican U.S. Senate races in West Virginia and Indiana featuring candidates have fought to prove loyalty to President will highlight slate -stakes party primaries in four states on Tuesday.

Simultaneously voters in Ohio and North Carolina also pick candidates on Tuesday for November’s congressional elections. When Democrats must pick up two seats in the Senate. 23 more in the to recapture control Congress and blunt Trump’s agenda.

All four the states holding primaries were won by Trump in 2016.  and Republicans have made Democratic incumbents Joe Manchin West Virginia and Joe Donnelly Indiana states that Trump won by double-digit margins two of top U.S. Senate targets in November.

Republican Senate prospects in either state could hurt by bruising party primaries. That has seen the top contenders battle to show is closest to Trump or . Like conventional Washington politician.

Trump waded into the West Virginia race on Monday to urge Republicans to reject former coal executive Don Blankenship. released from prison last year? After serving time for safety violations in 2010 disaster that killed 29 miners?

Trump said he feared Blankenship. Who has cast as an anti-establishment figure like the president?  Could not defeat Manchin in November. Trump expressed a preference for either of Blankenship’s top rivals. U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins or state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

“Remember Alabama,” Trump warned voters. When recalling the Democratic victory in a special Senate election last year in the deeply conservative state. After Republicans nominated Roy Moore, accused of sexual harassment and assault of teenage girls in his 30s.

Blankenship has attacked Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, accusing him of undermining Trump, creating jobs for “ people” and running TV ads highlighting the Taiwanese heritage of McConnell’s wife, drawing widespread condemnation.

Under those circumstances “I will say, all the media attention isn’t hurting him at all,” , a political scientist at West Virginia University, said of Blankenship. “There is a real sense here that career politicians only out for themselves.”

However, in Indiana, the top three Republican contenders to challenge Donnelly have also sharply criticized one another while praising Trump. U.S. Representatives Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, longtime rivals, and self-funding businessman Mike Braun, have traded personal insults.

“There is absolutely no daylight between them on any issues,” to quote Marjorie Hershey, professor of political at Indiana University. “The race has been almost entirely personal attacks.”

Braun, a former state legislator who has spent more than $5 million of his own money on the race, has made headway portraying the two members of Congress as indistinguishable “swamp creatures” who of Washington.

Therefore Trump and have scheduled a campaign event in Indiana on Thursday, indicating the priority that the House is putting on the Indiana race  and willingness to whoever emerges from the .

However in Ohio, liberal Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown is another top Republican target. U.S. Representative Jim Renacci won Trump’s endorsement and he considered as the favorite for the Republican Senate nomination over Cleveland-area banker Michael Gibbons.

Nevertheless, Gibbons filed a defamation lawsuit against Renacci, alleging his campaign falsely claimed Gibbons was anti-Trump.

Meanwhile, Democrats also have a competitive to succeed Republican Governor Kasich. Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is facing Dennis Kucinich, the former Cleveland mayor, member of Congress and presidential candidate, in a battle of liberal favorites.

Cordray has received the endorsement of liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren, while Kucinich has the backing of key allies of 2016 Democratic presidential contender Senator Bernie Sanders.

Source: Reporting by Whitesides; Editing by Peter Cooney / Publisher: The Thomson Reuters

Republican races in Indiana, West Virginia,  top primary voting in four states.