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Amid midterm disappointment, Trump wrestles with the political future
Donald Trump wanted to push himself into a third presidential campaign with a wave of Republican victories after the midterm elections. Instead, he emerges from a disappointing election night on Tuesday with questions about his political future and with the support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his likely main opponent in the 2024 primary.
With key seats still waiting in Arizona and Nevada, and with Georgia heading into the Senate run-off, Trump entered Wednesday with few victories, and the prospect of being overshadowed by more losses soon.
His selected candidates won open Senate seats in Ohio and North Carolina, as did current Republican Senator Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. But he lost a crucial race in the Pennsylvania Senate, where Mehmet Oz, who had supported him in the primaries despite widespread concerns about his eligibility, lost to ruling Democrat John Fetterman.
In Michigan, Trump’s candidate in the state’s gubernatorial race failed to displace Governor Gretchen Whitmer. And while Republicans still seem to be on course to win a majority in the House of Representatives, it is likely to be much smaller than initially thought.
And as much power as Trump is in the Republican Party, we know he can’t nominate a winner. “There is still a need for candidates who have the basics,” said Brian Lanza, a longtime Trump adviser.
Others were more frank in their assessment of Tuesday’s well-known results.
Rep. Troy Niles, a Texas Republican who won re-election and has Trump’s endorsement, appears to cast the former president as a liability to other GOP candidates in a radio interview on Wednesday.
“There are a lot of negative attitudes towards Trump,” Niels noted.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Trump’s current adviser, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation, admitted that Trump was “in a tough spot to come out tonight.”
“Two narratives will take hold over the next week, and neither will be easy to dispel,” the chancellor said.
Fully aware of his unprecedented turnout in the GOP primaries earlier this year, this adviser and other allies of Trump said they expect the former president to be blamed for taking power to failed candidates in some of the party’s biggest races, especially Oz, the daytime talk show host. . He hardly lived in Pennsylvania before launching his Senate campaign there.
Trump’s disappointment was palpable inside the gilded ballroom of his Mar-a-Lago home, where he met with dozens of aides, allies and donors to present the results Tuesday night. When he returned to the party in the middle of the night after a private dinner, his mood had clearly changed.
“Interesting night,” he told reporters before taking the stage to make brief and tepid comments.
With the crowd thinning, Trump sat at a table in front of a TV tuned to Fox News with a few advisers. Meanwhile, many of the guests whose names appeared on the VIP list distributed by Trump’s adviser to reporters were not found, including some who apparently decided to skip the event, and appeared as all-night television guests from the studios. .
The end result was the exact scenario Trump’s advisers hoped to avoid: an election in which top recruits failed, and his main Republican challenger rose to new stardom.
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