- In close races, prominent proteges of the former president have lost or are trailing behind Democrats as votes continue to be tallied
- Despite an expected ‘red wave’ failing to materialise, Trump called the election results a ‘very big victory’, asking: ‘Who has ever done better than that?’
Former President of the United States Donald Trump, who hand-picked many of his party’s candidates and demanded fealty from them throughout the 2022 midterm election campaign, was likely an albatross for the Republicans on Tuesday night, which limited their gains in a midterm election the party expected to dominate.
But if the recent past is any indication, Trump isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The once and likely future presidential candidate is unpopular, yet he continues to have outsize control over the Republican base, and this could hobble the party for at least the next two years and possibly longer.
As the votes continue to be counted, the Republicans still have a chance to take control of both chambers of Congress; however, the race has proven to be far more competitive than anyone anticipated.
On Wednesday, Trump claimed that although he found the results to be “slightly disappointing,” he yet considers them to be a “personal triumph.” According to what he posted on the Truth Social platform, which he also helped to build, the majority of the candidates he supported in the midterm elections were successful.
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“While the election that took place yesterday was, in some respects, a little bit of a letdown, for me personally, it was a very large triumph — 219 WINS and 16 Losses in the General – and I’m extremely happy about that. He asked in his writing, “Who has ever done better than that?”
In point of fact, notable Trump proteges have either lost their elections or were losing behind Democratic candidates as ballots continued to be counted in races that were tight. Candidates backed by Trump have primarily been successful in regions where Republican approval ratings are already rather high.
Trump suffered a particularly crushing defeat in the state of Pennsylvania. There, his supporter Mehmet Oz was unsuccessful in his bid to win a seat in the Senate. Herschel Walker, a fan of Trump who is running for a Senate seat in Georgia, will compete in a run-off election in December.
The counting of votes continued in the state of Arizona. Kari Lake, the candidate for governor nominated by Donald Trump who denies the results of the 2016 election, was able to make some progress in the most recent few hours, according to predictions, but she is still trailing the Democratic candidate by a close margin.
The Republican Party, while being in a position to capture control of the House of Representatives, was tense and worried on Wednesday because they needed to maintain their slim leads in many of the contests that were still open in order to eke out a victory. It is possible that the outcome of the election will depend on the contests in California, which Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has placed a particular emphasis on.
In a bizarre turn of events, if Republicans only won a slim majority in the House, it would most likely give President Trump more clout in Congress. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would be forced to rely on the continued support of Trump acolytes like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene to keep his position in power.
The tight contests for control of Congress defy historical precedent. In most cases, the party that currently controls the White House suffers significant losses in the midterm elections. The dismal approval ratings for President Joe Biden in the polls, which were fueled by continuing inflation, made substantial gains for the Republican party even more plausible, at least on paper.
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The combination of Trump’s low popularity, the generally weak general-election performance of the candidates he endorsed, the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection that he inspired, and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the right to an abortion this year appears to have drawn Democrats closer than expected. This is due to the fact that the Supreme Court decided to overturn the right to an abortion this year.
Commander and I burnt the midnight oil last night calling some of our great election winners.
I’m looking forward to the work we’ll do together. pic.twitter.com/fhXRCAP0nW
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 9, 2022
Exit polls carried out by several media organisations revealed that two-thirds of independent voters have a negative opinion of the previous president.
Gretchen Whitmer, another Democrat, was victorious in her election for governor of the swing state of Michigan, where she defeated Tudor Dixon, a candidate favoured by President Trump.
The outcome brings to light one of the most significant setbacks for the Republican Party. Trump was unrelenting in his attacks on Whitmer. The stunning election win of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 was fueled in large part by the support garnered in the state of Michigan.
Because of the state’s long-standing ties to manufacturing and its large population of white voters who identify as belonging to the working class, Republicans held out hope that the state’s political landscape would become more favourable for their party as the GOP moved closer to Trump’s brand of populism, which seeks to capitalise on economic and cultural anxiety. However, Biden was successful in retaking the state in 2020, preventing further losses for the party in the upper Midwest.
Voters in Michigan also adopted the most high-profile ballot initiative to safeguard abortion rights, while voters in Kentucky defeated an anti-abortion measure that would have added language to the state constitution. Both of these measures would have introduced language prohibiting abortion.
Exit polls conducted across the country this election cycle revealed that voters’ primary worry was inflation. But the second most popular option was abortion. This, combined with the relatively dismal performance of candidates favoured by Trump, helped Democrats remain in the battle.
It seems as though a lot of Americans were willing to get beyond their disappointment with Biden. Among voters who “somewhat disapprove” of Biden’s performance, an exit poll conducted by NBC showed that Democrats won by a razor-thin margin, with 49 percent to 45 percent.
As of Wednesday morning, a significant number of the gubernatorial candidates who Trump supported had either lost or were in risk of losing. On November 15th, Trump is expected to make a “very major statement.”
The re-election of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who was elected in a landslide victory that was representative of the state as a whole, was the one notable exception.
It is widely believed that DeSantis poses the greatest challenge to Trump’s chances of winning the presidential nomination in 2024. But Trump has stated that he will run for office once more, despite the fact that party officials favour DeSantis. At least for the time being, public opinion polls indicate that he is the overwhelming favourite to win the nomination for the party.
An adviser to President Trump named Jason Miller told the BBC on Wednesday morning that he was urging the president to delay an announcement that he would run again from next week – as he has been teasing – until December, in order to avoid distracting voters from a potential Senate run-off election in the state of Georgia.
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