Trump, Republicans humiliated in crucial midterm elections

Trump, Republicans humiliated in crucial midterm elections. By Adam Creighton, in Washington.

However the political chips ultimately fall in the next few days, Republicans have been humiliated in the US midterm elections, doing much worse than pollsters and punters predicted, vindicating Joe Biden’s agenda and underscoring the unsustainable disarray of a GOP living in the shadow of Donald Trump.

The red wave was a ripple.

The GOP appears likely to make enough modest gains to retake control of the House of Representatives, but the opposition party could even go backwards in the Senate, the opposite of what usually happens in midterm elections. …

As the clock struck midnight on the east coast of America, Republican bigwigs were left desperately hoping results from Senate races in Arizona and Nevada in the west, states where Republicans were expected to unseat Democrat incumbent senators, would propel them across the line.

If both do well, Republicans could still take a majority, but the more likely outcome, at least according to punters frantically ­adjusting their bets as new information emerged, is the party will end up with 49 or 50 seats, ensuring Mitch McConnell remains Senate minority leader.

Arguably the biggest personal loser of the night was Donald Trump, whose 2024 presidential plans were expected to be announced next week with great fanfare in Mar-a-Lago. …

His coterie of hand-picked unconventional Senate candidates, who won their primaries thanks to Trump’s powerful sway over the Republican base, bombed out. Former footballer Hershel Walker in Georgia, and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, both battleground states the party needed to win, were on the cusp of losing. …

The winners of the night were equally clear. Biden, while no longer able to legislate after the likely loss of the house to Republicans, will nevertheless emerge with some political authority, ­potentially enough to run again.

For the last couple of decades, Republicans have lost basically all the close contests where the counting goes on for days. Statistically improbable, but maybe the Democrats are just lucky. Don’t expect the Republicans to eke out late gains.