It’s safe to say the 2022 midterms have been a mixed bag. But no one was prepared for what just happened.
And all hell broke loose after this devastating midterm reality took hold.
By all measures, Republicans were supposed to take back the House of Representatives and maybe even the Senate last night.
But it quickly became clear that those hopes may have been overblown as the red wave never materialized.
Instead of blowout elections across the board, Republicans struggled in almost every state except Florida where Ron DeSantis led the party to a massive landslide victory.
“Definitely not a Republican wave, that’s for darn sure,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said as the results came in.
“The RED WAVE did not happen,” tweeted Rep. Mayra Flores, R-TX, who lost the seat she won earlier this year in a special election.
Several crucial Senate seats that Republicans had hoped to flip, including those in New Hampshire and Washington, were won by incumbent Democrats. Republican J.D. Vance easily defeated Rep. Tim Ryan, but the seat had to be won because it was vacated by retiring Republican Rob Portman.
Republicans wanted to keep Pennsylvania, but with nearly all of the ballots in, Democrat John Fetterman was expected to win by less than 1% early Wednesday.
The closely contested Georgia Senate seat was neck and neck between incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican opponent and former NFL star Herschel Walker, but both were under 50%.
Due to Georgia state law, Warnock and Walker will likely head to a runoff in early December.
The biggest story of the night remains in Florida where Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Charlie Crist by 19 points for the governorship.
Thanks to his personal brand of conservatism, DeSantis earned a record share of the Latino vote for Republicans.
DeSantis’ amazing performance in stark contrast to the rest of the Republican Party could increase calls for him to run for president in 2024.
“Ron DeSantis won his 2018 gubernatorial race by 30,000 votes,” The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro said Tuesday night. “The state of Florida is now entirely red. For Republicans who are thinking about the future, you might want to consider that in determining who you choose to run for president in 2024.”
Although DeSantis has been tight-lipped about his future plans, supporters at his victory party were heard chanting “two more years,” a hint to the potential that he will leave Tallahassee early to run for President.
But the Florida governor may be waiting to see if he’ll be facing off against Donald Trump in the primary before he makes any decisions.
Former President Trump is expected to declare a 2024 bid in the coming days, and he attempted to deter a DeSantis contest on Tuesday by threatening to disclose dirt on his former ally.
But with the final House tally possibly taking days and control of the Senate likely to be determined in December, Trump may bide his time.
Whatever may happen, Republicans need to figure out what went wrong before 2024 rolls around.
Stay tuned to DC Daily Journal.