Elise Stefanik butting heads with Kevin McCarthy in New Hampshire GOP primary: report
Elise Stefanik, Kevin McCarthy (Both photos by Saul Loeb for AFP)

As if Republicans don't already have enough problems with the midterm elections nearing, the Daily Beast is reporting that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) have opposing ideas who should be the Republican nominee for a House seat representing New Hampshire as they back opposing candidates.

As the Beast's Jake Lahut wrote, McCarthy has put his money and name behind former Donald Trump adviser Matt Mowers for the seat currently held by Rep. Chris Pappas (D), while Stefanik, who is third in line in the GOP leadership has thrown her weight behind her former press secretary, Karoline Leavitt.

That has led to a pitched battle as Republicans choose up sides and McCarthy spends big in an effort to get Republican voters to hand his candidate the nomination.

According to the report, "House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Congressional Leadership Fund has already spent more than $1.3 million boosting Matt Mowers, a former Trump White House adviser at the State Department. The super PAC also placed a $407,369 ad buy for Mowers on Friday," before adding, "The endorsements in the primary—with Mowers and Leavitt neck-and-neck in the latest University of New Hampshire poll from the end of August—have largely fallen along similar lines to other MAGA proxy fights, but the demographics of the district and the involvement of House leadership give this power struggle its own flavor."

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On the Leavitt side, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has signed on joining, "...other hardline Trump acolytes such as Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), Sen. Mike Lee (UT), outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (NC), former Defense Department Chief of Staff Kash Patel, as well as state Rep. Al Baldasaro, the dean of New Hampshire’s MAGA wing," Lahut wrote.

McCarthy's top lieutenant Steve Scalise (R-LA) sides with Mowers, along with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), and former Donald Trump administration officials Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley.

According to the report, the wild card in the race could be Donald Trump who has yet to make an endorsement, which could, Lahut reports, actually hurt the endorsee's chances based on polling in the district.

"A Trump endorsement here would be risky, and likely wouldn’t come with the same boost as usual in a closely contested primary such as this one. According to the latest UNH poll, it could ultimately backfire," the report states. "The poll found that a Trump endorsement would make 36 percent of undecided voters less likely to vote for that candidate, compared to just 16 percent of that group who said it would make them more likely to support his pick."

You can read more here.