Donald Trump-endorsed candidates didn’t fare very well in the midterm elections. The former president’s picks had a mixed record in high-profile races.
But it didn’t deter Trump. “As President Trump looks to the future, he will continue to champion his America First agenda that won overwhelmingly at the ballot box,” his spokesman Taylor Budowich said in a statement.
Trump endorsed candidates in 39 races; his preferred politicians have so far won 12 races and lost 11, Forbes reported. Sixteen races were still undecided as of Nov. 9.
There were some wins; Ron DeSantis and Brian Kemp won re-election, and Republican J.D. Vance won the Ohio Senate race. But the GOP fell short of what the party–and Trump–expected.
“Republicans are waking up to the fact that he is a net negative for their fortunes,” Republican strategist Liam Donovan said to Forbes of Trump. “I don’t think this affects his thinking. He is immovable in that sense. The choice for Republicans is, are we really going to go down this road again?”
Here are five things to know.
1. High-profile candidates Trump endorsed
Even the high-profile candidates endorsed by Trump struggled. “His GOP rivals in Florida and Georgia had smashing victories in Tuesday’s election, presenting a formidable challenge to the former president’s assertion of dominance in the party and his bid to clear the field in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
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2. No ‘red wave.’
Trump promised the GOP that his support would lead to a wave of victories and it was far from that.
“We’re going to see what happens but could have a very big night,” Trump predicted early election day on Nov. 8. “The policies of the Democrats are beyond description with how bad they are, with inflation and all of the other things.”
Trump, and many of his fellow Republicans, expected a “red wave” to carry the party to total control of Congress. The GOP will probably take the House, but by a much smaller margin. The Senate looks like it will remain in Democratic control.
“I think if [the candidates Trump endorsed] win, I should get all the credit, and if they lose, I should not be blamed at all,” Trump said on NewsNation ahead of the election.
But some Republicans are blaming Trump.
3. Will Trump run?
The midterm elections were pegged to test the waters for how much support Trump still had and if he should run again for the White House.
A Florida exit poll conducted for CNN and other networks asked voters in Florida if they want Trump or Florida Governor re-elect Ron DeSantis to run for president. Only 33 percent said Trump, 45 percent want the governor, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Trump’s allies losing is a setback, but his real problem is DeSantis’ huge win,” said Republican consultant Alex Conant. “Trump has a formidable rival inside the GOP for the first time.”
4. GOP big win bad for Trump
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was a big winner; he won a second four-year term by 19 percentage points. But this might not be good news for Trump if he decided to run for president. DeSantis is considered a favorite in the GOP for the next presidential election.
5. Candidates who loss
Some of his high-profile picks didn’t win. His pick in Pennsylvania, Mehmet Oz, lost. In Georgia, The former president stumped for former pro-football player Herschel Walker, but Walker didn’t win–at least not yet. Walker is headed for a December runoff.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to guests at Mar-a-lago on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)