In 114 races, Trump-endorsed candidates underperformed those Trump ignored

In 114 competitive House races, Trump-endorsed Republican candidates underperformed by 5 percentage points while those who weren’t Trump-endorsed overperformed by 2.2 points, calculated Phillip Wallach of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Trump-endorsed candidates tend to lose in the general election if they run in Congressional districts that have similar numbers of Democrats and Republicans. That’s partly because independents tend to dislike the sort of Republicans Trump prefers. Some independents also hold against a candidate the fact that he was endorsed by Trump. This is a problem for the GOP, because most Americans are either independents or Democrats, not Republicans who love Trump. Wallach says Trump weighed down Republican candidates, allowing the Democrats to win key races for seats in Congress.

In Arizona, Republicans endorsed by Donald Trump lost the races for governor and senator. But Trump didn’t make any endorsement in one statewide race — the race for state treasurer. That was the one race where the Republican candidate won in a landslide. Kimberly Yee got 55.7% of the vote. As a reporter for the Arizona Republic notes, “If Arizona Republicans want to know where their party went wrong just look at state Treasurer Kimberly Yee. She’s the Republican who won — the one who wasn’t endorsed by Donald Trump.”

Meanwhile, Trump-backed Blake Masters lost his bid to unseat U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D), by a 5% margin. And Trump-backed Kari Lake lost the governor’s race to Democrat Katie Hobbs, even though Hobbs was a weak and inept candidate who was afraid even to debate Lake. Lake managed to lose even though Arizona has had a Republican governor for the last 14 years, and a Republican won the governor’s race handily in 2018, even though Democrats came out to vote in droves, because independents preferred Republican Governor Doug Ducey. Both Masters and Lake antagonized some Arizona voters by claiming that Trump won the 2020 election, in which Biden managed to carry Arizona by a narrow margin. Voters also rejected the GOP Secretary of State candidate who denied Biden won Arizona. He lost by a 5% margin, as Arizona voters chose to elect a staunch leftist instead, to oversee the state’s elections.

In Arizona’s elections for the U.S. House of Representatives, in which Trump took little interest, Republicans won six of the nine seats, unseating two Democratic incumbents. Democrat Kirsten Engel was ousted by Republican Juan Ciscomani, who did not claim to voters that Trump won the 2020 election. Ciscomani is a staunch conservative who promised to battle the “radical left,” secure the border, protect the Second Amendment, vote against federal spending increases, oppose Critical Race Theory, and support free speech on college campuses.

In Georgia, a “right-wing Republican,” Governor Brian Kemp, was easily reelected despite signing into law an unpopular ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Kemp has publicly acknowledged that Donald Trump failed to carry the state of Georgia in the 2020 election. Trump has never forgiven Kemp for saying that Trump lost Georgia, although it happens to be true. Trump opposed Kemp in the 2022 Republican Primary for governor, which Kemp won handily.

The conservative National Review says thatTrump is a loser. He squeaked past the most unpopular woman in America in 2016, he presided over a blue wave in 2018, he lost to a barely breathing Joe Biden in 2020, and he hand-picked a bevy of losing Republican nominees in 2022.”

In Pennsylvania, Trump-endorsed Mehmet Oz lost the Senate election to left-wing Democrat John Fetterman, even though Fetterman was seriously impaired by a stroke. Trump endorsed Oz in the Republican primary, which was a strange choice because Oz was very unpopular and trailed Fetterman in the polls, unlike David McCormick, Oz’s more conservative competitor in the Republican primary, who led Fetterman in the polls. Trump’s endorsement of Oz was decisive in the primary, but harmful to him in the general election. Oz had been trailing McCormick in the Republican primary race before Trump’s endorsement, but Oz won the primary by a minuscule 0.1% of the vote after Trump endorsed him.

The conservative New York Post, which endorsed Trump in the 2016 and 2020 general elections, says that “What Tuesday night’s midterm election results suggest is that former President Donald Trump is perhaps the most profound vote repellant in modern American history.”

The liberal New York Times notes thatin 36 House races that the Cook Political Report rated as tossups, Mr. Trump endorsed just five Republicans. Each one lost on Tuesday.”

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By GIL