2022 Election results: Some Republicans blame Donald Trump for disappointing performance in midterms

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Thursday, November 10, 2022
Some Republicans blame Trump for disappointing midterm performance
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From Senate races in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona to governor races in Michigan and Wisconsin, some Republicans are blaming Donald Trump for a disappointing showing in the mid

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dr. Oz losing his bid for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Tudor Dixon losing to incumbent Gretchen Whitmer for governor in Michigan, Tony Evers holding onto his governorship in Wisconsin, tight races for Senate in Arizona and a run-off Senate election in Georgia - these are all races where Donald Trump's endorsement and campaigning were expected by Republicans to carry the day, and all fell short.

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Republicans hoping for a red wave are left in uncertain waters after the midterm election Tuesday, and some lay the blame at former President Trump's feet.

"This is certainly a rejection of the MAGA base," said Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said. "It's also a huge message that candidate quality matters."

RELATED: Walker, Warnock headed for runoff in Georgia Senate race

The outgoing congressman spoke early Wednesday, saying Trump is clearly to blame for lackluster Republican performance in the midterms.

"The question is do the rest of Republicans have the courage to stand up to Trump or do they once again acquiesce to him? Because we all know him. He's not going to take the blame for this," he said.

READ MORE: Biden touts midterm results as Democrats defy expectations, avoid GOP blowout

"It's possible many of these candidates would have done better if they did not have Trump on their bandwagon," said ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.

Washington wondered if Trump's Teflon may be wearing thin, even for his red base.

"Trump did not have the coattails that people might have expected a former president to have," she said.

Trump endorsements in Michigan and Wisconsin for governor fell short. Democrats Whitmer and Evers kept their seats.

His endorsement of Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania didn't make a difference either; the race was called for Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman late Tuesday night.

"There's no room for any Republican who doesn't support trump," said former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh. "You can't win a primary."

READ MORE: Fetterman wins Pennsylvania Senate seat, Oz concedes

But Walsh, a Trump critic, said the former president will deflect blame and says Republican cowardice will keep Trump, not Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, as the party's de facto leader.

"My god, they stuck with him after a damn insurrection. So he had a bad midterm night? That's not going to do anything," Walsh said.

The race in Georgia between incumbent Democrat Rafael Warnock and Trump-endorsed Republican Hershel Walker is now officially going to a runoff as neither candidate reached 50% of the vote, though Warnock is ahead. Trump's major campaigning with Walker wasn't enough to get him over the line.

Walsh predicts DeSantis, even with his momentum within the party, will stay in his lane and not challenge Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination.