by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Speaking of Trump, he was the big loser on Tuesday. Let’s count the ways.
First, he threatened more than once to announce for president during these midterms. That continuing discussion made him rather than Biden the main issue in many high-profile races. To underline the point, he still loses in most hypothetical matchups to an incumbent whose approval ratings are in the low 40s. Can we also mention that he continued to raise millions of dollars, most of which went to his ongoing legal problems, not to Republican candidates? He’ll need the money as he faces numerous civil and criminal investigations, even as he tries to launch yet another presidential bid.
Second, he endorsed incredibly weak general election candidates, some of whom survived in a good Republican year, but others lost very winnable races. Let’s look at the honor role: Tudor Dixon in Michigan, Doug Mastriano and Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, Don Bolduc in New Hampshire, Blake Masters (probably) in Arizona. JD Vance in Ohio and Herschel Walker ran well behind mainstream Republican governors in their states. Trump’s reach beyond the GOP remains small and shrinking. He’s the quarterback who throws for 250 yards, but also three interceptions and loses a fumble, and blames his teammates for the loss.
Finally, and most important, he has retarded the GOP’s ability to propose new solutions and respond to new challenges facing America. His focus is firmly planted in the past, namely his baseless lies about the 2020 election which he lost by a large margin. …
… So, the message to the GOP is this: Forget most of this year but remember that you owe very little to a former president who is ill equipped and not really interested in leading America into the future.