Blame Trump for weak Republican performance

Election 2022 Pennsylvania Senate
Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, speaks at an election night rally in Newtown, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke/AP

Blame Trump for weak Republican performance

The verdict is in: Against massive public dissatisfaction with the direction of a country led entirely by Democrats, Donald Trump’s Republican Party still scared enough voters that it embarrassingly underperformed in this year’s elections.

The less Trump-like the Republican candidates, the better they did. In Ohio, moderate Governor Mike DeWine outpolled Trump-selected Senate candidate J.D. Vance by more than 15 points (in their respective races). Trump actively trashed Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, but Kemp won his race easily. Meanwhile, Trump-chosen Senate candidate Herschel Walker, at this writing is barely hanging on to relevance by his fingernails.

Trump chose Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania over the impressive David McCormick, but Oz couldn’t even beat a stroke victim who was a bad mayor of a tiny town and an absentee lieutenant governor. Trump chose the extremist oddball Blake Masters in Arizona over accomplished state attorney general Mark Brnovich, and Masters at this writing is trailing very badly in the vote count.

Again and again, Republicans are vastly falling short in races they thought, just 24 hours earlier, that they would win. Sitting in their ideological bubble, party leaders refused to listen when they were told again and again that Trump scares or disgusts people so viscerally that he drives turnout among otherwise disappointed and apathetic Democratic-leaning voters.

Republicans probably will barely take a majority in the House, and they will probably fall short in the Senate. Going into Election Day, they expected to hold about a 35-seat House majority and at least 52 if not 54 of 100 Senate seats. This is a huge failure for the GOP, and the failure belongs at the feet of Trump and all those who kissed his feet.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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