November 28, 2022

SURF’S DOWN: “Red wave” is no tsunami for Republicans

Republicans red wave fizzles

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The red “wave” seemed to run into a blue wall last night. While results are still coming in, it’s very clear at this point that there will be no giant swing to the Republicans, undermining prognostications from the likes of Donald Trump Jr., who predicted a “bloodbath” early in the evening.

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Right now it is still very likely that the GOP will take control of the House, though – as in past years – it will be interesting to see what the final popular vote is for the House and the extent to which gerrymandered districts impacted that control.

As for the Senate, with Republican Ron Johnson appearing to have barely hung on in a close race in Wisconsin, control has come down to three key races: Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona.

Georgia appears headed for a run-off, with Democrat Raphael Warnock leading his GOP challenger Herschel Walker by almost a point, but shy of the 50% threshold required by Georgia law for an outright win.

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In Nevada, Republican Adam Laxalt currently leads Cortez Masto 49.9% to 47.2% with approximately 70% of the vote in. But there are thought to be votes still out there from Democratic strongholds and Democrat-leaning mail-in ballots.

In Arizona, senator and astronaut Mark Kelly leads Republican proto-fascist Blake Masters by five points with 66% of precincts reporting.

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As for Donny Jr.’s daddy, Dirty Donald, it was definitely not a good night for him, as many of the key candidates he endorsed went down in flames, including:

  • TV doctor and potential pee-drinker Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, bested by stroke-surviving liberal Hercules John Fetterman;
  • Lee Zeldin, insurrectionist supporter who lost the governorship of New York to Kathy Hochul – now NY’s first-ever female elected governor;
  • Doug Mastriano, another Republican proto-fascist loon, who was crushed by Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania’s governor’s race;
  • Bo Hines, who lost North Carolina’s 13th district to Wiley Nickel (who may have the greatest name in politics); and
  • Don Bolduc, who went down to Maggie Hassan for New Hampshire senator.

Kari Lake – another Trump endorsee who is practically a female incarnation of Trump – has already begun crying “unfair” and “election fraud” in her race against Katie Hobbs for governor of Arizona, with Hobbs leading by about half a point with 66% of precincts reporting.

Lauren Boebert, the gun-toting Trumper who made sure to tweet out information about Nancy Pelosi during the January 6 attack, appears poised to lose her Colorado House seat, though it’s still close there.

The one victory Trump might be able to claim is J.D. Vance, who likely would have won anyhow without having to kiss Trump’s ass (but did anyhow, according to Trump).

Trump also faces trouble in another way: his biggest challenger, Ron DeSantis of Florida, had a very good night, adding to his steam as possibly the new face of the Republican Party. Florida was the one bright spot for the GOP (and a dark spot for the rest of us).

Overall, though, it was a disappointing and dispiriting night for the Republicans, the party of Trump, and a relief for Dems.

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We still have to see how things will play out, of course, but as much as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tries to polish this turd, the Republicans definitely overpromised and underperformed, and his push for Speaker is now very much in doubt.

As for Donny Jr., if he wants to commit the political equivalent of a Frank Pentangeli, he’s certainly welcome to do so. And if he wants to go further than doing it politically, I certainly wouldn’t stop him there either.

Follow Ross on Twitter @RossRosenfeld

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