Some GOP leaders have been publicly arguing that Tuesday’s midterm elections were a great success even though Republicans underperformed expectations. Are they right?
History strongly suggests something went wrong for the GOP in 2022.
But a look at the historical performance of the party that held the White House in recent midterm elections tells a different story.
- Since 1934, the president’s party lost an average of 28 House seats and 4 Senate seats in the midterms.
- Votes were still being tallied in a number of states Wednesday, and the Georgia senate race was headed to a Dec. 6 runoff, but the GOP was projected to pick up 9 to 16 seats in the House and 0 to 1 seats in the Senate.
- Republicans were widely expected to do better given polls showing widespread disapproval of President Joe Biden’s job performance, the economy and the direction of the country.
- Leading theories have included the influence of former President Donald Trump, GOP candidate quality, new abortion restrictions.
OK, but: There were signs that the next election could go better for the Republicans.
- Exit polls showed the GOP continuing to make inroads with women and voters of color, groups long predicted to abandon the party.