Conservative commentator Larry Elder said Wednesday that abortion and “so-called election denying” were “more important” than he thought after the GOP failed to amass the anticipated red wave.
Elder and Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo were discussing Florida’s big night, where incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis swept the stage and beat his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by nearly 20 points. DeSantis also became the first Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the solidly blue Miami-Dade county since 2002.
“I want to talk about elsewhere, we know that Florida was the big hit of the night. But going into the elections we were talking about Hispanics, we were talking about independent women, suburban white women, the black community, moving to the GOP. Where does that stand right now in your thoughts?” (RELATED: ‘This Is Ron DeSantis’ Party’: ‘Morning Joe’ Panel Says Trump ‘Lost’ America)
“Well, I think that the Republicans did not have the night they thought they were going to have, they did not have the night I thought they were going to have. I think some issues that I really thought were peripheral issues like abortion, so-called election denying, were much more important than I thought,” Elder said.
“There is no question again that the Republicans did not have the night they thought they were gonna have, Joe Biden and Democrats had a much, much better night than I thought, the House looks to me like it’s going to go Republican, the Senate, the jury is still out right now.”
Predictions of a red wave fell short after Republicans underperformed nationwide. Republicans lost both the senate and gubernatorial race in Pennsylvania, while Georgia’s senate race has still yet to be called but could end up in runoff territory. While both races have not been called, Republicans appear on track to lose Arizona’s senate and gubernatorial race as well.
Republicans focused their messaging on inflation, economy and crime, with polls indicating those were top issues for voters. A Morning Consult/Politico poll found a whopping 93% of voters were concerned about inflation and three out of four Democrats said the economy would play a role in their voting decision. The poll also found 46% of voters trusted Republicans in Congress to better handle inflation.
Democrats put a heavy emphasis on both abortion as well as the claim that democracy was at stake.