Former President Donald Trump is taking much blame Wednesday morning for Republicans’ failure to dominate Tuesday’s 2022 midterms.
Political insiders forecast a “red wave” amid record inflation, a rattling economy, and heightened crime. GOP leaders said Election Day would be a referendum on President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party’s leadership and its control of the White House and Congress.
However, Tuesday night didn’t go as Republicans had planned.
Though the GOP will likely take power in the US House of Representatives, the Senate remains unclear. Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s Senate victory over Dr. Mehmet Oz greatly lengthened the odds of the Republicans controlling the upper congressional chamber come January.
Republican Senate candidates elsewhere also didn’t perform as expected. While Republicans JD Vance and former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt are expected to win their respective Senate races in Ohio and Nevada, Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly maintains a lead in Arizona over venture capitalist Blake Masters, and Sen. Raphael Warnock is headed for a runoff in Georgia against challenger Herschel Walker.
DeSantis New GOP Leader?
Trump played a pivotal role in determining GOP candidates in several key Senate races.
Trump endorsed Oz in Pennsylvania, Masters in Arizona, and Walker in Georgia. Trump also nearly handpicked several Republican gubernatorial candidates who failed to win on Tuesday, including Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Tudor Dixon in Michigan, and Lee Zeldin in New York. None of those candidates are celebrating victories this morning.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, dominated his reelection campaign against former Florida Gov. and US Rep. Charlie Crist (D). DeSantis, who Trump took a shot at last week by giving him the nickname Ron “DeSanctimonious,” never sought out the former president’s endorsement. DeSantis won Florida by nearly 20 points.
The 2022 midterms suggest that Republicans want to move forward with DeSantis in 2024 instead of looking back with Trump. The New York Post, which skews conservative, ran a front page on Wednesday with a photo of DeSantis accompanied by the headline: “DeFuture.”
DeSantis is now the 2024 betting front-runner for the US presidential election. PredictIt bettors give the Floridian a 33% shot at succeeding Biden. Trump is next at 27% and Biden is third at 23 cents.
Senate, Congressional Power
While Republicans mull their future with DeSantis possibly replacing Trump as their party leader, Democrats hope to retain as many congressional seats as possible as the final votes are tallied.
Things might all come down to Georgia once again. Georgia requires that a Senate candidate gain at least 50% of the vote to win. With Warnock receiving 49.4% and Walker 48.5% with an estimated 98% of the vote counted, a runoff is expected. If that happens, Georgians will decide between the two candidates on December 6.
The runoff could tip the 50-50 scale should Laxalt in Nevada and Sen. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin hold on to leads that have their Senate races still too close to call. Laxalt is seeking to oust Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto from DC, while Johnson is fending off a challenge from Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.
PredictIt bettors believe the final 2022 outcome of Congress will be a Republican House and Democratic Senate. Prior to Tuesday, the GOP was the heavy favorite to take control of both chambers.
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