Donald Trump is a player.

He must therefore enjoy the primaries for the "midterms" in the fall.

The former president wants to demonstrate that he is the undisputed kingmaker in his party.

Those Republicans who had hoped the soon to be 76-year-old man would overplay his cards have so far been disappointed.

But has he gambled now?

Majid Sattar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

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In Ohio, at the beginning of May, shortly before the primary election date, Trump had bet on the book author JD Vance, who placed third in the polls – against the advice of his confidants.

Ultimately, with Trump's help, Vance overtook his peers and will run for the open Senate seat in November.

Trump had shown it to everyone once again.

The primaries in Pennsylvania, the mother of all “swing states”, will take place on Tuesday.

For a long time, two men dominated the field of candidates seeking to replace Republican Senator Pat Toomey: David McCormick, a retired hedge fund manager, and Mehmet Oz, a Turkish-American TV doctor with controversial medical views, seemed to be the losers to make out.

McCormick also courted Trump's favor

McCormick represents the party's establishment, or what's left of it.

He, too, courted Trump's election recommendation and even traveled to Mar-a-Lago for an audience.

Trump, however, spoke for the TV star “Dr.

Oz” out.

After January 6, 2021, before he decided to enter the Senate race, McCormick said Trump shared responsibility for the storming of the Capitol.

The former president now scolds him for a "left-liberal Wall Street Republican."

The Pennsylvania area code is one of the most expensive in the country.

Republicans spent $51 million on advertising alone.

And while "Dr.

Oz" and McCormick fought each other with negative television spots, suddenly a third candidate joined the leadership duo: Kathy Barnette, a 50-year-old African American who had previously made headlines with homophobic and Islamophobic positions.

Kathy Barnette could be dangerous for the competitors

Accepting homosexuality, she once said, ultimately leads to accepting incest and pedophilia as well.

She compared Islam to the world views of Hitler and Stalin.

She doesn't really want to remember that anymore today.

She prefers to talk about abortion these days.

Her mother was raped when she was eleven and gave birth to Kathy when she was twelve.

In an emotional commercial, she says of her mother's decision not to terminate the pregnancy: "It wasn't about agency.

My life was at stake.” The life story of Barnette, who was raised on a farm in Alabama – reportedly without running water – was suddenly of interest to many.

Polls suggest that Barnette "Dr.

Oz" and McCormick could become dangerous, even though she only has a comparatively meager campaign budget.

So dangerous that Trump is now at a rally where he was chanted “Dr.

Oz" said: Barnette will never be able to win the November general election.

Has Trump lost control of Trumpism?

The former president suddenly sounded like his internal party critics, who accused him of supporting people who had no chance in Pennsylvania's highly competitive political center.

To the surprise of many, Trump then spoke out for Doug Mastriano, who wants to run for the governorship in November.

He is given a good chance of receiving the Republican candidacy, which of course explains Trump's election recommendation.

Should he start with "Dr.

Oz" ended up missing in the race for the senatorship, he would still have a trophy to show for Mastriano.

After all, Trump is all about one thing: he wants to show that he is still number one in the party and thus keep the option of running again in 2024.

Some former loyalists, meanwhile, are positioning themselves.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supports McCormick in Pennsylvania.

And Mike Pence, Trump's one-time vice president, is campaigning in Georgia, where elections are held at the end of May, for the re-election as governor of Brian Kemp - the man who opposed Trump after the 2020 presidential election and helped ensure Joe Biden's election victory.