High-ranking members of the Republican Party have already started finger pointing over the party’s failure to bring the expected “red wave,” with control of Congress still up for grabs.
Even though Republicans are expected to take the majority in the House, the margin will still be tight, lessening the party’s political power during the second half of President Joe Biden’s first term.
“It’s too soon to tell the extent” of shifting power within the GOP, columnist for The Hill Niall Stanage told Morning in America. “But this was definitely a bad midterm election for former President Trump, there’s no doubt about it.”
Key races are yet to be called or are heading to a runoff, with Trump-backed candidates losing or winning by thin margins. Dozens of GOP candidates who cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election results lost their races.
While some in the party say it’s time for Trump to take a smaller seat within the GOP, the former president is blaming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for poor turnouts, Stanage said.
Trump has yet to respond to these calls to delay what many believe will be his 2024 campaign announcement, which remains on schedule for Nov. 15.
“(Trump) had hoped to get this tail wind coming out of these elections, where even his more controversial candidates would’ve won,” Stanage said. “He would then make his announcement coming off a successful night — none of that happened.”
“It has certainly sharpened questions about whether the former president is ultimately harmful to the Republican brand,” he added.
Meanwhile, Democrats are also facing their own blame game.
Republicans flipping four congressional seats in New York has refueled tensions between the left and more moderate wings of the Democratic Party. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has called for the resignation of the state party leadership.
Yet if Republicans end up with a majority in the house, that could loosen tensions among Democratic leaders by providing a common adversary, Stanage said.