There Was No Red Wave, 'That's for Darn Sure'

GOP could still take House and Senate, but Democrats will be breathing easier Wednesday morning
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2022 7:03 AM CST
There Was No Red Wave, 'That's for Darn Sure'
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, reacts to cheering supporters during an election night campaign event Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Manchester, NH.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Was it a red wave? A bluenami? The consensus, it seems, is neither. As Lindsey Graham announced just before 11pm ET Tuesday on NBC News, it's "definitely not a Republican wave, that's for darn sure." Some reaction to early midterm results:

  • 'Red wedding': Though Republicans could flip the House and Senate, "the 'red wave' is off," reports the Washington Post. "From red wave to red wedding," tweeted Ben Shapiro, referencing a surprise bloody massacre in Game of Thrones. Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen said early results were "a searing indictment on the Republican Party" and urged the party to "turn back," per the Daily Beast.

  • Relief for Democrats: Overall, Democrats performed better than expected, likely helped by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. In exit polls, nearly three in 10 voters named abortion rights as their most important issue, "which was nearly as large as the share of voters who named inflation," per the Post.
  • Independents: According to exit polls, independent voters favored Democrats 49% to 47%, which is unusual considering "the opposition party has won independents by double digits in each of the last four midterm elections," per the Post.
  • A GOP 'mistake': Republicans failed to flip the Senate seat of Democrat Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire. Speaking on NBC, Graham hinted that Republican candidate Don Bolduc, a retired US Army General, was too extreme. "If you run that far behind your governor candidate, you probably made a mistake," he said, per Axios.

  • Or not: Trump had a different take, however. On Truth Social, he blamed his chosen candidate for disavowing the lies about election fraud, which Bolduc previously backed. "Had he stayed strong and true, he would have won, easily," Trump wrote, per the Independent.
  • Trouble for Trump: Control of the Senate rests on toss-up races in Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia. Republicans need to nab two of the three for a majority. If they don't, Trump could take the blame as many of his picks had "image problems," per the Post. It notes "Trump might've cost his party a very winnable Senate majority," perhaps for a second time.
  • Florida: There's more bad news for Trump, but good news for Republicans overall, in Florida, which experienced "a localized red wave," per Rolling Stone. Gov. Ron DeSantis not only won easily but gets credit for the sweep, adding to Trump's anxieties. The Post sees it as "the biggest signal to date that he will be a force to be reckoned with if he runs for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024." Per CNN, exit polls showed 45% of Florida voters want DeSantis to run for president, while 33% want Trump to run.

  • The House: With votes still being counted, a Republican majority in the House is likely though not a guarantee as Democrats have claimed many toss-up races. The Post notes "the average gain for the opposition party in House races over the past 100 years is 29 seats, which Republicans appear unlikely to match."
  • Abortion: Pro-abortion activists will find relief in some states rejecting abortion restrictions. Measures to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution look poised to pass in California, Vermont, and Michigan, while Kentucky and Montana are on course to reject anti-abortion measures.
(Read more Election 2022 stories.)

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