PoliticsMidterm Elections


Trump Touts GOP Successes, Disowns Losses In Midterms

The President highlighted Republican's strong Senate performance, and blamed some GOP House candidates for not running closer to him.
Posted at 5:05 PM, Nov 07, 2018

After a grueling election season, President Trump took the podium Wednesday to highlight some of what he saw as victories in the midterms.

Trump told reporters, "Last night the Republican Party defied history to expand our Senate majority while significantly beating expectations in the House. ... This election marks the largest Senate gains for a President's party in a first midterm election since at least President Kennedy's in 1962." 

It's fair for Trump boast about the Senate; only two modern presidents — John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt — have managed to gain more than two Senate seats in their first midterms. Republicans have gained at least two seats in the election, and wins in Arizona and Florida could pad that number even further.

The House results are much more typical. Democrats locked down double-digits gains in the chamber, which is usually what happens when an opposing president's approval ratings are underwater.

Trump credits his interventions in several key Senate races for helping to stem a potential Democratic blowout.

Trump said, "This vigorous campaigning stopped the blue wave that they talked about. I don't know if there ever was such a thing, but there could have been if we didn't do the campaigning. Could have been."

Democrats did see a significant surge out of the midterms: the party won the overall popular vote in House races by around 7 percent. But the party faced deeply unfavorable election maps going into the midterms — and Trump's campaign efforts likely put a further drag on the Dems' prospects.

The president also took a moment to slam defeated Republicans who Trump felt didn't run close enough to his agenda.

Trump said, "Peter Roskum didn't want the embrace. Erik Paulson didn't want the embrace."

It's tough to pinpoint exactly why the six candidates Trump name-checked lost their races. But it's worth noting five of them were running in districts Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 election. 

This video includes reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.