The 2022 Midterm Elections are so stalemated that we don’t even know five days out which party will control the House of Representatives (the Democrats will keep control of the Senate). What happened to the expected “red wave” considering the unpopularity of President Biden, the high rate of inflation, and the general dissatisfaction with the direction of the country? To me, the answer is quite clear: Donald Trump’s denialism about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election has badly muddied the waters. Consider:
- GOP governors running for re-election with a record of competent conservatism all won easily. This includes Brian Kemp in Georgia, Kim Reynolds in Iowa, Gregg Abbott in Texas, Mike DeWine in Ohio, Chris Sununu in New Hampshire, and Ron DeSantis in Florida.
- Senate candidates in New Hampshire, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, all Trump-endorsed MAGA election deniers, lost against vulnerable opponents. Trump-endorsed Senate candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio squeaked through with massive help from a Super Pac aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom Donald Trump detests. Trump-endorsed Herschel Walker in Georgia was forced into a runoff with his Democratic opponent.
- Trump also helped defeat several House incumbents in GOP primaries because they voted to Impeach him after the January 6, 2021 Capitol break-in. These Trump-supported Primary winners then lost to their Democratic opponents in the general election.
- Trump sabotaged Georgia’s 2021 Senate runoff elections by blaming Georgia GOP leaders for not somehow overturning his 2020 defeat in Georgia. This gave Senate control to the Democrats in 2021 which led to the 2021 passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and the huge inflation which followed. This means that Mr. Trump has now flopped in four elections in a row, in 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022
- Even most Trump-supported election deniers running for Secretary of State around the country were defeated.
Conclusion. In spite of Donald Trump’s various policy successes as President (tax reform, deregulation, and three Supreme Court selections, for example), his 2020 re-election defeat denialism has now become a huge political liability for the Republican Party. If he wins the Republican nomination for 2024, he will likely be soundly defeated in the general election. Let us hope that he will be strongly challenged in the 2024 Republican primaries!