It wasn’t just the Democratic candidates who claimed victory after taking a stand against those who falsely claim Trump won in 2020. Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who pushed back on Trump’s efforts to quash election results in his state, won re-election easily. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is retiring, said he did not vote for his party’s gubernatorial candidate, Doug Mastriano, who was the architect of a failed bid to undo President Joe Biden’s victory there.
Other Republicans, too, are fed up with Trump’s influence in the GOP and his refusal to back down from his bogus claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
“It was just a lesson that the American people are smarter than that and they don’t appreciate it if people just try to gloss over that,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (RS.D.), who had its own dusting off with Trump earlier this year after dismissing the former president’s continued insistence – without proof – that there was widespread fraud.
Rounds said the losses of these candidates were not necessarily an endorsement of the Democrats’ congressional agenda, but “had more to do with poor candidate selection and the failure of some candidates to have the courage to say publicly to their supporters that there was no evidence that the election result would have changed.
In states like Nevada, Arizona and Michigan, Holocaust deniers have lost bids for key statewide positions like governor and secretary of state, a role that often governs election administration. . Democrats in particular said it was also a vindication of Biden’s decision to focus on promoting democracy in the final days of the 2022 campaign, despite criticism that he should have focused his closing message. on the economy and inflation.
“I was preparing to lose the races for secretary of state and governor in four or five states, and that was becoming a structural drag on the 2024 election,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), one of Biden’s top confidants, in an interview. . “Again, a man with 50 years of experience as an elected official… actually read the moment better than the commentary or those who primarily failed to understand that the American electorate clearly understood and saw that… something more fundamental was going on.”
Congressional delegations provide lawmakers with a rare opportunity to engage directly with their counterparts in allied nations as they craft laws and help guide U.S. foreign policy. But in many cases lawmakers find themselves at the mercy of awkward interactions, such as when Coons met this summer with African officials who offered to send election observers to the United States for midterms — a conversation that usually takes place in reverse.
“I couldn’t say anything other than, ‘I appreciate the offer.’ Because the whole world saw an armed mob, instigated by a fallen presidential candidate, attempt to storm our Capitol,” Coons said, referring to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. had both serious concerns and a bit of ‘So you’re not so perfect after all.'”
The Halifax forum was basically an effort to rally behind Ukraine as its democracy was under attack from Russia. That’s why lawmakers saw the deniers’ unpopularity at home as bolstering their efforts to support and promote democracy.
Members of the delegation – the largest group of lawmakers to attend the conference in recent memory – underscored deep bipartisan support for continued aid to Kyiv. They also minimized opposition to aid to Ukraine as limited to the fringe elements of Capitol Hill. Many of these lawmakers are also vocal supporters of Trump and his bogus claims about the 2020 election.
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), who was making her first trip to Halifax, said the 2022 midterm results were a rejection of “an extreme list of election deniers,” including several in her state of origin where a far-right elected denier was defeated in the race for Secretary of State.
Voters “don’t want to plead one person’s grievance,” Rosen said in an interview, referring to Trump. “That’s why you saw Nevada get a majority in the United States Senate.”
Following the midterm repudiation of many candidates he endorsed in the GOP primaries, Trump’s decision to launch another White House bid last week divide the republicans. The GOP also won a slim majority in the House and will set the agenda there next year, ending two years of Democratic control of Congress and the White House.
Many lawmakers have seen the midterms as a course correction even as questions swirl on Capitol Hill — especially in the lower house — about Republicans’ willingness to continue supporting military and economic aid to Ukraine. .
“The feeling is that people are very relieved – as relieved as I am. And I didn’t like all of the results,” Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) said. “But there was no doubt that the message sent to voters a few weeks ago was that they were not going to accept the Big Lie, the Holocaust deniers and extremism.”
“This election certainly shows an element of self-correction, a return to moderation, to good governance,” he added. “The world saw it, and it was a relief.”