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2022 Midterms: Split Ticket Results

Erik Sofranko

Posted on November 15, 2022 23:40

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Candidate quality is crucial in close races.

The 2022 midterm elections delivered mixed results, with the Republicans barely taking control of the House of Representatives and the Democrats narrowly holding on to Senate control. If it was not clear before that the Republicans have a Trump problem, it is now.

Infighting among Republican leadership has ensued since the midterm bust. Many Trump-endorsed candidates lost their races or garnered smaller winning margins than more moderate Republicans, indicating that many voters wanted a departure from the MAGA movement. Many Republicans are arguing that the outcome was a rejection of Trump’s involvement and influence in the GOP.

There were many states that produced split results between the governor and senate races. This is where candidate quality makes the entire difference. The Trump-endorsed candidates that he handpicked in the primaries significantly underperformed in House and Senate races.

In New Hampshire, the incumbent Republican Governor, Chris Sununu, easily won re-election by 15 points. However, the incumbent Democrat Senator Maggie Hassan won re-election against Republican challenger Don Bolduc by 10 points. Bolduc was Trump’s endorsed candidate in the primary. The Republicans also lost both of the state’s congressional races by a large margin.

In Georgia, incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp won rejection against Stacey Abrams by nearly 10 points. The Senate race is headed for a December runoff as neither candidate won a majority of the vote, although the Democrat Raphael Warnock did receive more votes than the Republican Herschel Walker. Kemp easily won re-election as governor without Trump’s endorsement.

In Pennsylvania, the Republican nominee for governor Doug Mastriano’s terrible campaign ended up being a drag on the Senate campaign for Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz. Democrat Josh Shapiro defeated Mastriano by 15 points in the governor’s race, whereas the stronger Senate candidate Dr. Oz only lost by a few points to John Fetterman. Mastriano’s obsession with appeasing Donald Trump ended up costing Republicans in every major race in Pennsylvania. The Democrats swept every key race in the state.

Wisconsin’s Democrat Governor Tony Evers won re-election against the Trump-endorsed candidate Tim Michels. The good news for Republicans was the re-election of incumbent Senator Ron Johnson.

Similarly, in Kansas, the Democrat incumbent Governor Laura Kelly won re-election against the Trump primary choice Derek Schmidt. In the Senate race, the Republican Jerry Moran was easily re-elected.

There was also a split result in Nevada. Republican Joe Lombardo defeated Democrat Steve Sisolak in the governor race. However, Republican Adam Laxalt lost the Senate race to Democrat Catherine Masto. Laxalt’s close ties to Trump ended up costing him the race, whereas Lombardo kept his distance and won the governor’s race. Joe Lombardo was the only Republican to flip a statewide race from blue to red in the entire country.

The candidates Trump endorsed in both House and Senate races vastly underperformed expectations. His only criteria for making endorsements is if a candidate pledges unconditional loyalty.

Erik Sofranko

Posted on November 15, 2022 23:40

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