After Madison Cawthorn's Primary Defeat, Is Marjorie Taylor Greene Next?

Following Madison Cawthorn's defeat in the North Carolina primary amid a string of scandals, there have been calls for the similarly controversial Marjorie Taylor Greene to also lose her seat.

Cawthorn, who at 26 years old is currently the youngest person in Congress, conceded to state Senator Chuck Edwards on Tuesday. With 95 percent of the votes reported, Edwards leads 33.4 percent compared to Cawthorn's 31.9, according to The Associated Press.

Cawthorn suffered a rare defeat for an incumbent following a stream of unwelcome news stories that have dogged the congressman in recent months.

These include being stopped by police three times since October for allegedly speeding and driving with a revoked license, and being caught in possession of a gun at airport checkpoints twice in the space of a year.

Cawthorn has also made a number of headline-grabbing remarks, including calling Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a "thug" soon after the Russian invasion and claiming fellow lawmakers had invited him to orgies while others had taken cocaine in front of him.

Other potentially damaging stories surrounding Cawthorn to have emerged prior to Tuesday's primary include being accused of illegal cryptocurrency insider trading, images of him wearing women's lingerie being leaked to press and a video emerging of the congressman naked in bed thrusting against another male.

The constant release of negative stories about Cawthorn ahead of his primary has led to reports the GOP was trying to oust him from office. In a video posted after he was caught with a gun at a security checkpoint at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on April 26, Cawthorn spoke out against the "coordinated drip campaign" against him.

Following the Donald Trump-backed candidate's defeat, a number of people have suggested that Greene, another GOP lawmaker who has faced a constant stream of controversies during her time in office, should also lose her upcoming primary.

"Madison Cawthorn conceded in tonight's primary. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert are next," tweeted photographer Jerry Avenaim.

Political consultant Fred Wellman added: "Cawthorn lost for a lot of reasons but the lesson is they are not invincible. Stop telling me a 1 term Congress member who has done nothing for their district can't be beaten. Marjorie Taylor Greene needs to be next. We can beat her."

Unsurprisingly, others who have called for Greene to be the next firebrand GOP lawmaker to be voted out of office are two of her potential Democratic opponents in Georgia's 14th district.

"Madison Cawthorn just lost. Now do Marjorie Taylor Greene," tweeted Holly McCormack, who is running in the May 24 primary.

"Madison Cawthorn lost his seat tonight. Marjorie Taylor Greene is next," added fellow Democratic congressional candidate hopeful Marcus Flowers.

madison cawthorn Marjorie taylor green
There have been calls for Marjorie Taylor Green to also lose her upcoming primary after Madison Cawthorn's defeat in North Carolina. Drew Angerer/Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Despite being one of the most controversial figures in Congress, there's no real indication that Greene is in trouble of losing her upcoming primary.

The only independent poll published in January for the GOP primary showed that 57 percent of voters would back Greene if the election was held "today," with her nearest challenger, healthcare executive Jennifer Strahan, a distant second on 27 percent.

Michael Bailey, a political scientist at Berry College in the 14th District, said that Greene's GOP rivals have not got enough name recognition to challenge her in the primary, and that the criticism she receives only increases her base support.

"She's getting criticized left and right, but from her perspective that's fantastic," he told Axios.

With Greene expected to win the primary, any Democratic challenger faces an uphill battle to unseat her in November's midterms

No Democrat candidate has gained more than 30 percent of the votes in the 14th district since it was created in 2010.

As noted by political commentator Brain Taylor Cohen, it also seems unlikely that the GOP will try and purge Greene any time soon—despite the controversies surrounding her.

"Republicans didn't turn against Madison Cawthorn because he is too extreme—Greene is still on track to win her nomination. They turned on him because he said his colleagues invited him to cocaine orgies. That was the line crossed," Cohen tweeted.

In a previous interview with Newsweek, military veteran Flowers said that unlike in 2020, where Greene ran unopposed after her Democratic rival Kevin Van Ausdal dropped out of the race but remained on the ballot, voters will have more of a choice in 2022.

"And that can be a choice between chaos and stability," Flowers said.

"It's going to be a choice between someone who thinks that 9/11 was a hoax and someone who was actively serving the country on 9/11."

Greene has been contacted for comment.