A number of Republicans are blaming former President Donald Trump for the failure to manifest the much-ballyhooed “red wave” and overall midterm election losses.
Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan did not mince his words when opining about the election results: “This is the third election in a row that Trump has cost us the result, and it’s like, you know — three strikes, you’re out,” he said on Sunday’s “State of the Union.” He added, “[Trump] said we would be tired of winning. Well, I’m tired of losing.”
Also on Sunday, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump “underperformed” in the midterms, after Democrats secured control of the Senate.
“Those closely aligned with the past, those are the ones that underperformed,” Cassidy told host Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” “We as a party need to have a debate about ideas. In that debate, we need to explain to the American people exactly where we think our country should go.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) won the state of Nevada on Saturday night, meaning Democrats took control over the Senate; the House is leaning Republican, but a number of races are still uncalled in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, New York and Oregon.
On Thursday, shortly after his seat flipped blue in a victory for John Fetterman, retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) echoed Cassidy’s sentiment: “All over the country, there’s a very high correlation between MAGA candidates and big losses, or at least dramatically underperforming.” He added, “I think my party needs to face the fact that if fealty to Donald Trump is the primary criteria for selecting candidates, we’re probably not going to do really well.”
Before the election results poured in, Trump put himself in an ideal position when speaking on NewsNation about the candidates he endorsed: “Well, I think if they win, I should get all the credit, and if they lose, I should not be blamed at all.” He endorsed over 300 candidates in the midterm elections.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) acknowledged his party fell short of expectations as the results rolled in, but didn’t blame Trump: “Definitely not a Republican wave, that’s for darn sure.”
By contrast, Democrats have been celebrating their unexpected edge in the Senate. “I think it’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates,” President Joe Biden said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who was re-elected on Tuesday, said on Saturday that Americans rejected “anti-democratic extremist MAGA Republicans.” He added, “This election is a victory, a victory and a vindication for Democrats, our agenda and for the American people.”
One high-profile, controversial Trump-backed candidate’s fate has yet to be determined: Herschel Walker. The Georgia Senate run-off will be held on December 6, and will decide the extent of the Democrat’s Senate majority.
Despite the party’s drifting from Trump, he is expected to announce his White House run on Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago.