Recapping the Midterm Elections

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On November 8th, millions of Americans headed to the polls to make their voices heard in the midterm elections. With President Biden’s approval rating at just 38% according to the Pew Research Center, Republicans hoped for a Red Wave, winning large majorities in both chambers. However, the big wave Republicans hoped for, and Democrats feared, turned out to only be a small droplet.
Democrats won big in many swing states. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Raphiel Warnock (D-GA), all won reelection against their Republican challengers. In Pennsylvania, Democratic nominee Lt. Governor John Fetterman defeated television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, flipping the formerly Republican Senate seat. This gave Democrats 51 seats in the Senate, expanding their majority by one seat. This expansion of their Senate majority will give President Biden an easier time passing his agenda, no longer having to worry if moderates, such as Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), break rank.
This is not to say Republicans had no victories in the midterms. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio defeated their Democratic challengers by substantial margins, solidifying the state’s rightward shift. Republicans also managed to flip the House of Representatives, making it more difficult for President Biden to pass his agenda for the next two years. Republicans gained only nine seats, putting them at 222 total seats, a narrow five seat majority. Due to divisions in the party, many have questioned whether Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will be able to pull the party together to get his agenda passed, or even be elected Speaker. Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ) has announced that he will challenge McCarthy for the Speakership, stating “Kevin McCarthy was created by, elevated by, and maintained by the establishment.”
The dismal performance of Republicans left many pointing fingers at who was to blame. Former President Donald Trump got most of the blame from many moderate and some conservative Republicans. Many of his endorsed candidates and the candidates who supported his views, such as denying the validity of the 2020 Election, performed poorly. This has caused some former allies to ditch Trump and support other prominent Republicans. Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD), who has been a longtime critic of the former President, said “It’s basically the third election in a row that Donald Trump has cost us the race…three strikes, you’re out,”, alluding to the 2018 and 2020 elections. The New York Post, a conservative newspaper which endorsed Trump in 2020, ran the headline “DeFUTURE” with a picture of Gov. Ron DeSantis, calling him a “Young GOP star.” This endorsement is indicative of the larger movement within the GOP to move away from Trump and Trump-like candidates, to candidates who appeal to moderate suburban voters.

Sources:
Pew Research Center
Florida Election Results
CNN
New York Post
Politico