- Trump has made his endorsements a cornerstone of his post-presidential life.
- But Americans on Tuesday dealt devastating blows to his brand by rejecting key candidates in closely-contested races.
- Dr. Mehmet Oz and Don Bolduc lost. While JD Vance is headed for the Senate and Herschel Walker will fight on through a runoff.
Donald Trump ensured he was on the ballot Tuesday night as the self-described "king of endorsements." But he apparently wasn't a kingmaker.
So far, Americans have dealt devastating blows to his brand by rejecting key candidates in closely-contested races. Rather than a so-called "red wave," results were still unclear on Wednesday. Republicans are likely to win control of the House but the Senate is still in play for both parties.
For Weary Georgia Voters, Senate Runoff Brings a Sense of Déjà Vu
ATLANTA — Georgia voters should be forgiven for their sense of déjà vu: Once again, one of their major elections has gone to a runoff. Once again, the nation is watching. Once again, after a bitterly fought campaign, the stakes are high. So are the costs. According to AdImpact, a media tracking firm, the general election contest between Senator Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent, and Herschel Walker, the Republican challenger, generated $195 million in radio and TV ads, many of them blisteringly negative. And more are coming. So perhaps voters should also be forgiven for needing to fend off election fatigue.
Former reality TV star Mehmet Oz was one of Trump's picks who could have helped Republicans hang onto a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, but he lost to Democrat John Fetterman. Republicans hoped retired Army General Don Bolduc, another Trump endorsee, could have flipped a Senate seat in New Hampshire. Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan won re-election.
Republican Herschel Walker, meanwhile, will fight on through a Georgia runoff. In a win for Trump, author JD Vance heads to the Senate from Ohio.
The legally challenged, twice-impeached former president put great effort into continuing to rebrand the Republican Party, making more than 250 general election endorsements, according to Ballotpedia. He is expected to formally announce his own candidacy soon.
True to form, Trump began the night by already trying to craft an exit strategy from the torrent of criticism he may face for his role in the GOP's struggles. "I think if they win, I should get all the credit, and if they lose, I should not be blamed at all," Trump told NewsNation during an interview on Tuesday.
DeSantis overtakes Trump as the 2024 presidential nominee Republicans prefer, new YouGov poll says
The YouGov poll, taken days after the midterms, is a reversal of previous polls that put Donald Trump ahead among Republican voters.So far, Americans have dealt devastating blows to his brand by rejecting key candidates in closely-contested races. Rather than a so-called "red wave," results were still unclear on Wednesday. Republicans are likely to win control of the House but the Senate is still in play for both parties.
He blamed Bolduc's loss on his 2020 election pivots. "Don Bolduc was a very nice guy, but he lost tonight when he disavowed, after his big primary win, his longstanding stance on Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Primary," Trump wrote on Truth Social. "Had he stayed strong and true, he would have won, easily. Lessons Learned!!!"
As Republican's struggles began to mount, the knives for Trump began to come out.
"If you want the Republican Party to thrive, we've got to just finally speak out and say, 'This man is a loser, he lost 2020, he's losing a seat that is winnable this time," former Trump aide Alyssa Farah Griffin said on CNN.
By Wednesday's early morning hours, Trump was spinning the elections as "A GREAT EVENING" on Truth Social, and blaming the media and Democrats for downplaying it.
Here's how some of his most high profile endorsees fared.