Primary season kicks off in earnest come Tuesday. The first May 3 statewide contests give us a critical first look at how much Donald Trump's endorsement can sway a GOP primary — but even if Trump's choices don't prevail, he's still been the driving force in Republican races set to come to a head throughout the month.

Next week, we're tracking the only statewide race where the former president has weighed in on: the hotly-anticipated Ohio Senate contest. Trump surprisingly backed author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, who's changed his tune since 2016, when the "Hillbilly Elegy" scribe had proudly declared himself a "Never Trumper."

May overall is an important test to see if Trump's blessing in a race still holds the importance it used to. Even if Vance is lifted to victory, other Trump-backed candidates could nonetheless struggle and lose in the coming weeks. Chief among them is former Sen. David Perdue, who's losing even more steam against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. In fact, both sitting governors whom Trump has endorsed against — Brad Little in

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