Dick Morris: Don't Let the Media Con You - The GOP Did Not Lose the Midterms


One of the biggest media hoaxes is that the Republicans lost the midterm elections… and that it was a sign voters are tiring of Donald Trump.

The Republican candidates for the House got 52,690,787 votes while Democrats only got 48,096,016 votes — almost a 5 million-vote Republican majority.

This margin of victory, against the backdrop of President Joe Biden’s 7.1 million-vote defeat of Trump in 2020, indicates a 12-million vote shift between 2020 and 2022, the largest gain by Republicans between the presidential and congressional elections going back to before 2000.

We entered the 2022 elections with 22 seats to defend in the Senate, including six vacancies. The Democrats only had to defend 11 seats and had only one vacancy. Despite those odds, Republicans held all but one of their seats.

The only defeat we suffered was at the hands of our own expectations.

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And none of it was Trump’s fault.

The Republican victory in the popular vote in the House shows that the Senate losses were not a national move away from Trump but a series of local defeats in specific states more likely due to bad and underfunded campaigns than to Trump. Indeed, the pattern suggests that Mitch McConnell’s decision not to fund Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Don Bolduc in New Hampshire and Blake Masters in Arizona was the main culprit in their losses.

The main tactical reason for the Senate defeats was the Democrats’ advantage in early voting combined with their control of Election Day machinery.

In Pennsylvania, for example, Democrats had banked a 300,000-vote advantage in the Senate race before the polls even opened. Such a handicap was almost impossible to overcome, especially with the Democratic secretary of state gladly tolerating machine breakdowns that lengthened lines around the block on Election Day.

Were the 2022 midterms a success for the GOP?

In Arizona, where the Democratic candidate for governor, Katie Hobbs, controlled voting as secretary of state, machine breakdowns led to long lines on Election Day. 4,500 Arizona voters signed in at polling places but did not vote, turned off by the hours-long wait to cast ballots. Tens of thousands more likely saw the length of the lines and just kept driving. These lines did not do much to tamp down Democratic votes — they had voted early — but sapped GOP turnout.

Why didn’t Republicans vote early? We were too stupid. Frightened by the prospect of voter fraud, our people would not mail in their ballots. And too ingrained in the Election Day voting habit, they didn’t take advantage of in-person early voting either.

This kind of suppression of our vote played a key role in our Senate defeats.

Our victory in the House has been obscured, likely deliberately, by the absurd delay in vote counting. But 2022 was one of the best years for Republican House candidates ever, so don’t let the media con you into believing it was a defeat.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.