GOP Hopes Dashed On The Rocks

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republicans under-performed across the country Tuesday, with Donald Trump-endorsed nominees losing or trailing in swing districts and Senate and gubernatorial races.

Trump endorsed more than 400 candidates across the 2022 midterms, according to Ballotpedia, making his presence felt in swing races in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona. In all three states, Trump-endorsed candidates have under-performed.

Fox News and NBC have projected that Democrat John Fetterman will defeat Republican Mehmet Oz in the Keystone State, and Democrat Josh Shapiro is projected to defeat Republican Doug Mastriano in its gubernatorial contest. Trump’s endorsement helped Oz through a heavily-contested primary, despite misgivings from many conservatives. (RELATED: Can Dr. Oz Turn His Campaign Around?)

Both Masters and Lake won divided primaries that pitted Trump endorsees against candidates supported by former Vice President Mike Pence. They trail Democrats Mark Kelly and Katie Hobbs, respectively. Many polls had shown Lake with a small lead against Hobbs, who refused to debate the Republican and was hobbled by a racial discrimination lawsuit.

Incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp comfortably defeated Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams, who conceded shortly after 11 p.m. Eastern time. Herschel Walker, on the other hand, trails incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock by fewer than 2,000 votes, and the two are almost certainly headed to an early December run-off.

Democrats have flipped three of the 10 Republican-held district listed toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, with the other seven races still outstanding. State Sen. Wiley Nickel defeated Trump-endorsed Bo Hines in North Carolina’s 13th District, and Cincinnati city councilman Greg Landsman defeated incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st District. Republican Rep. Mayra Flores lost her race against Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez in Texas’ 34th District, and incumbent Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar defeated former Ted Cruz staffer Cassy Garcia.

The GOP also struggled in several races where they were believed to hold a significant advantage. Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly leads Republican challenger Attorney General Derek Schmidt, although the race has not yet been called. Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert trails Democratic challenger Adam Frisch, although votes in many Republican-heavy areas in the district remain outstanding.

Republicans only needed to net five seats to take back the House of Representatives, and are still likely to do so. GOP challengers have picked up at least two seats in New York, and Republican Anna Paulina Luna won the Tampa-area district vacated by Democrat Charlie Crist.