Red wave recedes at 2022 midterms


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Adhokshaya Malhotra

The 2022 midterm elections were a stressful time for many Americans. The outcome, however, renewed a sense of hope among Americans struggling with a wounded democracy.

Exit polls reported that hot button issues such as climate change, racism and the economy were most prominent among voters this election cycle.

Entering the midterms, Democrats were on the defensive, with President Biden’s approval rating at a historic low and the historical precedent of the party in control of the White House losing the midterm elections looming over both chambers of Congress.

Republican leadership, pollsters and conservative media predicted a “red wave.” In hindsight, what happened during the 2022 midterm can be described as a “red ripple,” at best.

The GOP secured a tiny majority in the House of Representatives with a razor-thin margin of just one to two seats, almost the same Nancy Pelosi had after the 2020 election.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s victory in Nevada secured the senate for the Democrats. Georgia is headed for a runoff election on Dec. 6, but Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is expected to win.

Both parties claimed victory to some extent, but it was the Democrats who managed to outperform projections, gaining key senate seats and governorships.

Thus, the loser of the election is not the Democratic Party as predicted, but Donald J. Trump.

Trump lost the 2018 midterms when Democrats captured the House of Representatives. In 2020, he lost both the senate and the presidency to the Democrats. Now, two years later, nearly every candidate backed by Trump has lost their respective election.

Ohio’s J.D. Vance is the only candidate Trump endorsed who won by a substantial margin.

Republican candidates Douglas Mastriano and Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania, as well as Blake Masters in Arizona, all lost their respective races in key swing states.

Kari Lake, another Trump-backed candidate, lost the Arizona gubernatorial election to her Democratic opponent.

Despite these huge losses that may foreshadow his political demise, Trump announced his third run for the presidency on Nov. 15.

The recent election results indicate that while Trump may be able to effectively energize a small slice of his old fanbase, this enthusiasm translates weekly at the ballot box.

Politicians who fell out of Trump’s favor, however, saw success during the midterm.

Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger clinched easy victories in Georgia. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won his re-election by almost 20 points and is an early favorite for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

The Republican Party is starved for disciplined leadership. It is time for Trump to realize that most Americans are repulsed by him and his behavior.

This election indicates to the GOP that Americans are more than willing to elect moderate Republicans and that they are sick and tired of the twice-impeached former president.

Americans deserve better than Trump as a figure of national opposition. They need someone calm and combative to present an agenda that will benefit the American people.