What did Republicans do wrong in the midterms?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Elephant in red water
(Image credit: Illustrated | Gettyimages)

Republicans went into Tuesday's midterm elections expecting the kind of big gains the opposition usually gets when the other party is in the White House. President Biden's low approval ratings and mounting anxiety over the economy and the highest inflation in decades appeared to create the perfect conditions for a GOP sweep in Congress. Three days after Election Day, Republicans now appear likely to win control of the House, but with a razor-thin majority. Democrats still have a good chance to hold onto control of the Senate. "Definitely not a Republican wave, that's for darn sure," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told NBC News.

Former President Donald Trump said on social media that Tuesday was "A GREAT EVENING" as Republicans picked up several House seats, putting them on the cusp of a majority there. Other Republicans started finger-pointing, with many of them blaming Trump for endorsing hardline conservatives who won the primaries only to lose in general election contests more moderate Republicans might have won. Some blamed GOP abortion restrictions imposed since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, although Graham argued that "pro-life people did well," citing victories like Senate wins by Ted Budd (R-N.C.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), and incumbent Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). What's the real reason Republicans failed to deliver their "red wave"?

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.