Well, guys, this week did not turn out nearly as projected by race handicappers, poll averages, and TV commentators. Simply said, there was no “red wave.” Not in the least. We still don’t know for sure whether party controls the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives despite the fact that election day was on a Tuesday and it is now Thursday.
It appears that everything in the upper house will depend on what happens in Georgia, where a runoff was required because neither Raphael Warnock nor Herschel Walker received more than 50% of the vote.
Republicans have only added a small number of seats to their majority in the House, and the slow vote-counters in western states will still determine the ultimate results. Although it appears that the GOP will win, following what happened on Tuesday, it would be foolish to assume anything.
The Florida governor Ron DeSantis, dubbed “DeFUTURE” by The New York Post on its Wednesday cover, Ohio’s J.D. Vance, and New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin are the greatest victors of the 2022 midterm elections. Zeldin increased voter turnout, which helped carry down-ballot candidates to victory. It’s important to note that Elise Stefanik, a colleague of Zeldin’s, should also receive praise for the Empire State Republicans’ victory on Tuesday night.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), and former President Donald Trump are the midterm elections’ losers, though. One can only wonder, “What were these Republicans doing?” after hearing what they said in the first 10+ months of 2022 and then watching the results come in since Tuesday.
What the heck happened in the border district House races, the supposedly simple pickup seats in Virginia, and the gubernatorial races where GOP challengers sought to unseat unpopular Democrats who failed their constituents during COVID and have presided over an increase in violent crime are questions that the GOP leaders owe answers to their party’s voters.
But now that they are being criticized by Republican voters and perhaps a number of their own candidates, these Republican leaders are intensifying their bizarre behavior and seeming to be trying to make things even worse for themselves.
Ronna McDaniel, who spoke on Fox News Wednesday afternoon, first asserted that the RNC never used the term “red wave” in 2022 before stating erroneously that a red wave “did happen.” However, the RNC actually made reference to an impending “red wave,” and Tuesday unmistakably failed to witness a Republican upsurge.
A quick check of the GOP and McDaniels’ tweets reveals a plethora of instances of the “red wave” rhetoric being employed before 2022. Why then do you insist that the national party “never” expressed optimism for a “red wave” in November?
We’ve already discussed how Sen. Rick Scott was on a boat in Italy in August while the NRSC was short on finances just as people started paying attention to the midterm elections in earnest. This is relevant to the committees entrusted with obtaining, protecting, and extending GOP majorities in Congress. Was that due to erroneous confidence? incorrect priorities? Just bad planning, then?
What was Rep. Tom Emmer doing, on the other hand, when he ordered the NRCC to spend money on three last-minute six-figure ad purchases in congressional districts that Biden won by 20 points in 2020? Why not make strategic purchases to make sure that more reachable tossup districts turn red on election night?
Naturally, as voting ended and the results were announced on Tuesday, it became clear that Republicans would not experience a red wave sweep through the Biden +20 districts, and Emmer’s efforts did not see much pickup in many of the “tossup” districts that could have benefited from more funding in the final days of the midterm campaign.
Democrat campaign groups prioritized their battle maps, made difficult decisions regarding the distribution of ad dollars, and were able to hold the GOP to a margin so narrow that it is still unclear who will hold the majority in the House in the upcoming Congress in opposition to Emmer’s efforts to expand the GOP’s congressional map into what eventually became unfathomable territory. Why did the NRCC choose to support underdog candidates instead of GOP incumbents and invest money in more competitive districts?
Then there was Kevin McCarthy, the head of the House GOP. McCarthy’s “victory” address came more than six hours after he urged supporters to attend a party in Washington, D.C., to celebrate what he claimed would be a resounding Republican victory.
When McCarthy eventually emerged at 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday and declared, “When you wake up tomorrow, we will be in the majority, and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority,” the comments were “beyond tone-deaf.” However, that was still not the case on Wednesday morning when the majority of Americans awoke.
With the hope that it would win over people and serve as the model for their sizable majority in the new Congress, McCarthy unveiled his “Commitment to America” as a parody of Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America.” What took place there?
Trump is last but by no means least. What in the world was he doing Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning? First, he published a joyful message on Truth Social applauding the defeat of GOP candidate Joe O’Dea in the campaign for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, which made…absolutely no sense.
Trump will need favorable senators, or at the very least as many with a “R” next to their name as possible, if he truly plans to run and win in 2024. Otherwise, he won’t be able to accomplish anything. Even though Romney, Collins, and Murkowski don’t always agree with the rest of the Republican conference, they are more helpful than a Democrat.
Trump also criticized Don Bolduc, one of his own candidates, for losing the battle for the Senate against incumbent Maggie Hassan. Bolduc had received his support in New Hampshire. Bolduc failed, in Trump’s opinion, since he didn’t talk about the 2020 election results as much as the former president would have liked.
But once his endorsements assisted in propelling candidates from the primary to the general election, where was Trump’s financial backing in New Hampshire and elsewhere in the nation? He boasted about the amount of money he raised for his midterm candidates, but the amount he actually spent was significantly less than what his PACs raised. Why was there reluctance to invest the funds that may have propelled Bolduc and Oz to victory or kept Herschel Walker out of the Georgia runoff?
Republican voters and conservative activists are extremely disappointed following the results of Tuesday night and the rest of this week. They are also beginning to wonder how so many national GOP apparatus leaders could have gotten so far ahead of themselves and still managed to produce such a dismal result in a year that ought to have been relatively straightforward.
It won’t fly for those same leaders to attempt to casually get by today without addressing their part in what went wrong. Republicans need to explain what their leaders were doing in the days leading up to Tuesday’s election as well as what they are doing right now to prevent this from happening again.