Republicans should have won the Senate easily, but they nominated really bad candidates

Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz (R-PA) speaks at an event in Pennsylvania.
Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz (R-PA) speaks at an event in Pennsylvania. (Graeme Jennings / Washington Examiner)

Republicans should have won the Senate easily, but they nominated really bad candidates

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There’s a lot of noise as these midterm results flow in, and a few unsettled races at the moment, but this much is clear: Republicans would control the Senate next year had they stuck to nominating good candidates. Instead, typical of the Tea Party-to-Trump Era, Republicans in many key states nominated people who were patently unfit for office.

It goes back to the Massie Theorem. Rep. Thomas Massie explained the Tea Party after the 2016 election.

“All this time,” Massie said, “I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans. But after some soul-searching, I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas. They were voting for the craziest son of a b**** in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class.”

Nominating the craziest son of a b**** in the race is not a formula for winning governing majorities.

Here’s the raw math:

Republicans, as of 5 a.m. Wednesday, control 48 seats in the Senate, with four states outstanding. (Technically, Alaska is still outstanding, but it is undecided between two Republican candidates.) Republican Ron Johnson will probably win reelection in Wisconsin. That means the GOP would need to win two of the final three races — outstanding contests in Nevada and Arizona, and a likely runoff in Georgia — to control the Senate. So, the odds are decent that Republicans end up with 49 or 50 seats, which is 1 or 2 seats short of Senate control.

Republicans should have won the Georgia Senate race easily this year. They also should have won Pennsylvania.

In Georgia, former NFL running back Herschel Walker will get about 48% or 49% as Gov. Brian Kemp gets about 54%. At least half of that difference is due to Walker’s personal unfitness. He hasn’t convinced anyone of the falsity of the charges that he paid for a girlfriend’s abortion. His personal immorality and lack of political skill cost him an easy opportunity to knock off Warnock.

In Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz lost a Senate seat Republicans have held for the past 12 years. This is remarkable in a midterm election of a Democratic president. What’s more, Oz lost to a man whose stroke left him unable to understand spoken language or speak clearly. A good GOP nominee would have won Pennsylvania this year.

New Hampshire’s Sen. Maggie Hassan should have been vulnerable in this midterm election. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu won reelection by 15 points last night. But Republican Senate nominee Don Bolduc was a political novice and conspiracy theorist. He lost to Hassan.

Were Pennsylvania and Georgia in the red column, Republicans would control the Senate with either Wisconsin or Nevada victories. Had Sununu run for the Senate, he probably would have won, and with good nominees in Pennsylvania and Georgia, Republicans could already have the Senate clinched tonight.

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And now a reminder: Democrats control the U.S. Senate currently only because Donald Trump refused to concede his 2020 loss, and his antics tipped two Georgia runoffs to the Democrats.

Republicans are where they are because of the low quality of leaders the party keeps nominating.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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