Modest Economic Upturn May Have Limited GOP Gains and Democrat Losses: Expert

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Amid widespread speculation about why the Republican Party did not quite realize the “red tsunami” at the voting booths that many had hoped for—though the GOP may yet win control of both houses of Congress, with the outcome of critical Senate races still unconfirmed—the most cogent explanation may have to do with economic headwinds less favorable to the opposition than sometimes described, according to one economic expert.

While President Joe Biden has been terrible for the economy, it is resilient in spite, not because, of his policies, the expert said.

In the closely watched Nov. 8 elections, the GOP met with disappointments in some of the highest-profile races, including those where they were seen to have the momentum going into election day.

Pennsylvania’s Senate candidate Mehmet Oz lost to a Democrat rival, John Fetterman, sometimes depicted as weak because of the continuing effects of a stroke last May; New Hampshire’s Senate candidate David Bolduc lost by nearly ten points to Democrat incumbent Maggie Hassan, who had angered her own base by visiting the southern border in April; and Republican insurgent candidate Lee Zeldin fell far short of unseating Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul of New York despite public outrage over rising crime rates on Hochul’s watch.

What GOP leaders and voters hoped would be an election conforming to a historical model where the opposition party makes broad gains, and sends a message to the incumbents that they are out of touch and the public demands a change of course, looks to be, at best, a modest victory giving the GOP a narrow majority in the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate.

The results are particularly concerning for some Republicans because they had made the Biden administration’s bungling of economic policy—and an inflation rate that hit 9.1 percent in June, its highest level in more than forty years—their rallying cry, and expected the message to resonate among working Americans struggling to afford gas and put food on the table.

By Michael Washburn

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