A novel explanation for the GOP’s disappointing midterm comes from Missouri Sen.
The problem, he writes, wasn’t candidate quality but substance: “The old Republican Party is dead.” Because too few candidates backed a Trumpian agenda of protectionism, less legal immigration, a crackdown on Big Tech and an end to tax cuts, “the red wave didn’t land.” Working people who support the Trump agenda “chose to stay home.”
The data don’t bear this out. There were 113.7 million votes cast for House candidates in 2018. Republicans got 51 million and Democrats 60.7 million. Though votes are still being counted in California, so far this year Republicans received 54 million votes to 50.5 million for Democrats. Democrats had an 8.6% margin over Republicans in 2018; Republicans have a 3.3% edge in 2022.
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Mr. Hawley also argues that working-class voters “have little enthusiasm” for the GOP. Data don’t back up this claim, either. According to the Fox News Voter Analysis, white noncollege voters in 2018 were 40% of the turnout and broke 59% Democrat, 39% Republican. In 2022, their share of the turnout ticked up to 41% and the Republican advantage grew to 65% to 32%. It appears Democrats have bigger problems than the GOP does among working-class voters.