A conservative take: how the Republicans failed the midterms

A conservative take: how the Republicans failed the midterms

Joshua Shuster , Staff Writer

President Biden’s two years in office have been disastrous, bringing record-high inflation, an influx of undocumented immigration at the southern border, an abysmal evacuation from Afghanistan, a failure to prevent the war in Ukraine, and constant gaffes that make America look like a joke. 

For the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans anticipated a ‘red wave’ that would sweep the nation, flooding Congress with Republican officials who could block Biden’s foolish proposals. Instead, the country saw a ‘red droplet.’ The Senate will remain in Democratic hands, and several more gubernatorial and House results leaned more Democratic than expected. How did this happen? Why wasn’t there a red wave if Biden and the Democratic Party have had a negative impact on the nation? 

Seeing these disappointing election results made me realize there are many fundamental, fatal flaws in the Republican Party, more than I had initially noticed. I outline the two most important ones in this article: abortion stances and Donald Trump’s influence.

The first fundamental flaw in the party that prevents conservatives and Republicans from winning seats is their general “pro-life” stance on abortion. Many Americans see the Republicans’ pro-life, anti-abortion stance in opposition to a woman’s right to choose. With a steadfast pro-life position, Republicans are promoting an unpopular idea that loses them more votes than it gains them. About 61% of Americans believe some kind of abortion should be legal. That number crosses party lines. I believe if Republicans lessen their pro-life stance, they will win more elections. 

The second fundamental flaw in the Republican Party is a continued reverence to former President Donald Trump. Regardless of one’s opinions on Trump, it is undeniable that he was extremely polarizing and controversial. Moreover, he didn’t fare well among independent and moderate voters. This was reflected in last week’s midterms; a large majority of Republican candidates endorsed by Trump didn’t win their respective political races. 

Many Republicans no longer support Trump due to his recent attacks aimed towards successful Florida governor Ron DeSantis. Trump’s recent bid to run for president in 2024 is worrisome for the Republican Party because he can single-handedly divide the party in a way that prevents it from taking control of the White House. The Democrats’ and Independents’ vitriol towards Trump has not changed, and facing more criticism from within the Republican party, Trump will never win the 2024 election. The former president’s selfish behaviors and failed endorsements in key battleground states show that it’s time to move on from Trumpism.

The 2022 midterms were not all dark for the Republicans, though. They won the majority in the House, which means much of Biden’s policy agenda will not move forward. Still, the Republicans’ results in the Senate were far worse than anticipated. However, it’s important to look at the numbers of the popular vote, which point to future success. Since the House is broken up into a series of representatives from each district, looking at the party support numbers for the House of Representatives shows specifically where Americans support certain candidates. According to RealClearPolitics.com, during these 2022 midterm elections, the Republican generic national vote exceeded the Democratic generic national vote by nearly 5,000,000 votes. This was an astonishing swing of 10,000,000 votes from the 2020 House elections where Democrats had slightly under 5,000,000 more votes than Republicans. 

While red states remain red in most Congressional districts, certain Democratic sanctuaries like New York saw an increase in Republican voting. Additionally, turnouts in midterms are usually smaller than those during presidential elections, so the Republicans’ large popular generic vote in a smaller turnout might point to an even greater popular vote during the 2024 presidential election, which could give Republicans an electoral college advantage in states like Wisconsin, Georgia and Nevada, the three closest states in the 2020 elections. 

Republicans may have lost this small battle, but there’s a good chance that they’ll win the greater 2024 election. That is, so long as they switch up their political strategies and alight from the “Trump Train.”