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Did MAGA Cost the GOP the 2022 Midterms?

Lauren Boebert
Lauren Boebert on Fox News.

The midterm results are still streaming in, but the general contours seem clear. Democrats maintained 50 seats in the Senate – and have a shot at earning a 51st with the upcoming Georgia runoff. Republicans will likely gain a slim majority in the House, although several races are still being tallied, and Democrats could, technically, still earn a majority in the lower chamber.

The Confusing 2022 Midterms: What Happened?

The results have been described as shocking.

Historical precedent and modern polling suggested that Republicans were going to win big – taking the House back with significant margins while regaining the Senate; Republicans were set to install their leadership, their commission heads, to proceed with their investigations, to offer a powerful check against the Biden White House and its legislative agenda.

Republicans proceeded confidently on account of how frustrated Americans were. At the time of the election, inflation was at a 40-year high; crime rates were spiking; interest rates were rising, causing fears of a pending recession; a nuclear power-backed country has been waging war in Europe for several months. And through it all, one party had control of the White House and Congress. Safe money was on that one party taking a hit.

Did the GOP Fail? Blame MAGA?

Now, however, with Republicans failing to convert the frustration of the masses into votes for party change, Democrats are gloating that the Republicans will need to do some honest introspection to figure out why their message didn’t stick.

It’s true, too. The Republicans are due for some introspection. The GOP just had a 75-mile-per-hour fastball hanging over the plate, bases loaded … and they whiffed Casey-style … they ought to consider what they did wrong. And Republicans probably will self-reflect.

Democrats on the other hand, who are also due for some introspection, will likely proceed, thanks to their relative victories, content in their messaging and policies.

In races across the country, Republicans ran a slew of weak, weird, and untenable candidates. Herschel Walker, who is still in the running somehow, ran on a pro-life platform though it came out he paid for two separate women to have abortions; Mehmet Oz ran in Pennsylvania but wasn’t really from Pennsylvania; Lauren Boebert is stark, raving mad; Blake Masters is an election denier; J.R. Majewski lied about his military service.

In sum, the Republican line-up was lousy, punctuated with far too many MAGA-types, running on Trump’s tired and shoddy messaging. The bar for success was remarkably low – on account of the Democrats’ underperformance – and still, Republicans failed to clear the bar.

For the first time in a long time, Republicans are asking important questions regarding their leadership, Trump, MAGA, and messaging. The result may well be a more polished, agreeable, marketable Republican platform. Well, maybe, I don’t have all that much faith in the Republicans to reform – but the MAGA schtick is not working. 

Democrats Need to Think Long and Hard

Democrats were due for a similar overhaul – having abandoned the working class, having lost the trust of the general population with respect to the economy, inflation, immigration, and crime – having surrendered entirely to “woke” values – the average American is not particularly enthusiastic about the Democratic platform. But when the alternative is Herschel Walker talking about air flow, or Marjorie Taylor Greene talking about God knows what, most people are going to side with a mild-mannered Mark Kelly or a capable-of-coherent-English Raphael Warnock. As a result, the problems festering within the Democratic party will evade introspection and will continue to fester. And if the GOP ever course-corrects and excises the unmarketable, the flawed Democratic party will be in a tough spot.  

Harrison Kass is the Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. 

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.



  1. Dog

    November 14, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    Idiots, all idiots. MAGA is a campaign slogan not a political party. Idiots.

  2. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    November 14, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    The infamous Democrat cheating machine again made the difference, not Trump.
    Nearly a week after the election, my corrupt state (AZ) is STILL counting votes and like the last election, the longer they count, the more Democrat votes they find, even though only 17% of Dems supposedly voted.

  3. phil stacy

    November 14, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Most of cultural media is controlled by Democrats and this media propaganda is for controlling elections. Blaming trump is part of the propaganda
    which serves China’s interests. Kass might as well be on the China payroll.

  4. Matt

    November 15, 2022 at 1:57 am

    I’m an independent voter. I’m a combat veteran. I’m a pro-life Catholic voter. I’ve voted GOP in the past and worked for GOP candidates.

    And there is NO way on Earth I would vote for a GOP candidate right now, unless that candidate was one of the ten who voted to impeach Trump or if that candidate publicly repudiated both Trump and the MAGA movement. For me, protecting democracy from the MAGA-ites was, and remains, THE issue.

    The GOP is morally bankrupt and utterly lost – witness, for example, Exhibit A, their tap-dancing around and excuse-making for the Jan 6 seizure of the US Capitol building and Trump’s refusal to tell his followers to go home until so much damage had already been done. The GOP needs a complete reset.

    It must vomit out Trump, DeSantis, Cruz, Hawley, Jordan, Abbott, Gohmert, MGT, Bohbert, Lee, Kennedy, every Fox News, OAN, and NewsMax “personality,” and the whole legion of soulless ghouls who crave nothing but power and “angertainment” and who comprise the heart of today’s GOP. The GOP must find its soul again, if it can, and return to the spirit of Eisenhower and Lincoln.

    Until that happens, I will continue to vote against the GOP. It is as much a threat to American values and geopolitical stability as the CCP and Putin.

  5. Anyone

    November 15, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Amen to that Repub combat veteran who voted blue this time. And tks for his service.

    Me, I’m closet repub totally puked out on WOKE/2 faced lying so-n-so democrats. Yet I voted blue too. Blue wins, I still have a chance cause there will be a next time. Trump/election deniers win, we are all done with our democratic republic.

    To those who cry ‘foul’! Arizona election committee is doing nothing except your repub state government has decried they need to do for elections. Blame the repub state government for slow results if you must blame anyone.

  6. MAGA idiots

    November 15, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Nuetered, you talk stupid.

  7. Surf

    November 15, 2022 at 11:21 am

    Now that it has been shown that Mitch McConnell was on the recieving end of 2.5 million dollars from the failed Crypto firm FTX, and he spent the money funding agianst MAGA candidates, you tell me whose fault it was……..

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.

    An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.”

    Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)

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