When the first votes were cast, Russian troops were on the outskirts of Kyiv, and gas prices were rising rapidly, ru vs. valley It was still the law of the land, and Queen Elizabeth II He was alive. By Tuesday, when the last primaries were held before Election Day, the Russians were too back off quickly from the Ukrainian attack, gas prices It was steadily declining, states were issuing abortion bans, and longitude days Already starting to form across London to see the Queen’s coffin.
The 2022 primary season began March 1 in Texas, wounding across the country over the course of six months before finally ending After Labor Day with Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Contests have appeared in 49 of the 50 states (plus an additional primary date in New York after the court struck down a redistricting map, resulting in a two-month separation between the state’s gubernatorial primaries and congressional primaries).
As voters select party nominations for thousands of state, federal, and local offices, the American political environment has shifted wholesale. Both parties lost special elections in seats that were safe, and the number of investigations into Donald Trump appears to be increasing almost every week.
But even as that has changed, it has revealed some coherent trends, and some clear winners and losers.
Loser: Senate Republicans
Accusations are already starting on the right about how Republicans ended up nominating a slate of flawed candidates in swing states across the country, especially after a number of first-class recruits chose not to run in the first place. Already, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rick Scott, chairman of the Republican Senate National Committee (NRSC), have gone back and forth in indirect criticism after McConnell voiced concerns last month about “candidate quality” in Senate races. This led to the opening of an opinion piece by Scott the irony “Treasonous bullshit.” while silence Financial Supervision of the NRSC It also faced criticism, and it was the relatively weak candidates the 2022 primaries produced that raised the most concerns.
Three Republican Republican governors chose not to run for the Senate. In Arizona, time-limited Doug Ducey decided not to run after a barrage of criticism from Trump for refusing to support efforts to cancel the 2020 election. In New Hampshire, incumbent Chris Sununu decided he didn’t want to be in the Senate and instead sought re-election, And in Maryland, time-limited Larry Hogan chose not to run either.
Then Trump’s interference in the primaries brought flawed candidates who have since struggled in recent polls, including Blake Masters in Arizona and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. In Arizona, Ducey was a much stronger candidate, and activists in both parties in Pennsylvania acknowledge Oz was an unusually weak activist.
Senate Republicans can still grab seats and reclaim control of the Chamber, but since they are forced to invest heavily in Republican-leaning Ohio and allow seats like Washington, to which they looked optimistically a few months ago, they are getting away with it. map, they are now likely to be much lower than the best-case scenario seemed at the start of the cycle.
2022 was one of the toughest years for congressional incumbents in modern history: 14 current members of Congress, eight Republicans and six Democrats, lost their primaries.
Many races between members were lost as a result of the redistricting. Most notable was a showdown in Manhattan between two top Democrats, Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, and in suburban Chicago, where Sean Kasten beat out first-state Democrat Mary Newman after Newman’s involvement in corruption scandal.
However, many Republicans lost not because of the new maps but because of the former president. Trump has gone out of his way to campaign against Republicans who voted to impeach or who otherwise angered him. In a two-member primary, Trump supported Mary Miller over Rodney Davis in Illinois and Alex Mooney over David McKinley in West Virginia. Although both Davis and McKinley opposed impeachment, and Davis, as the top Republican on the House Governance Committee, was perhaps the most successful member of the GOP in fending off Jan 6 Commission, Both MAGA weren’t enough in Trump’s eyes.
But Trump has also campaigned in particular against the investigators who sought re-election, particularly in the United States Wyoming where Liz Cheney lost by nearly 40 points, but also Peter Major in Michigan and Jaime Herrera Butler in Washington. The latter two both lost to controversial Trump in competitive areas.
Winner: The Republicans from MAGA
The Republicans elected in 2022 will be much more MAGA – meaning more on Trump and Trump – than those in office now. At least eight of the 10 House Republicans and two of the seven Senate Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump will not take office next year. Except for Georgia where there is Trump Try the statewide basics for Republican officeholders Candidates approved by the former president failed with great success in the primaries.
Even if many of these candidates lose their general elections, (such as Trump-approved candidates for governor in Massachusetts and Maryland), there will be fewer non-MAGA GOP incumbents. This shrinks the pipeline of Trump skeptics in future races, with many candidates at least having to pay lip service to the former president’s false claims about the 2020 election in order to win the primaries.
Loser: Fixed Left
Anti-Israel left-wing candidates suffered defeat after defeat in the primaries. Starting in Ohio State, Shontel Brown easily defeated Nina Turner in the rematch Brown’s own victory in the 2021 electionDemocratic primary voters have repeatedly rejected candidates on the far left of their party.
This culminated in the New York congressional primaries in August where Yeh Line New, Nimbe Enthusiasts World Health Organization supported BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) marginal movement, which is Considered anti-Semitic by manyHe lost the congressional district race with one of the largest number of Jewish voters in the country. most voters Supporting three more of the most popular progressives, including winner Daniel Goldman as well as City Councilor Carolina Rivera and Westchester Deputy Munder Jones. Although there have been occasional bright spots — including Summer Lee’s narrow victory in a Pittsburgh-based area — the political tide has clearly been turned off for those on the left just two years after the wins of Jamal Bowman in New York and Corey Bush in Missouri . A longtime incumbent.
Not only has the battlefield become more balanced as incumbents at risk of primaries from the far left are more prepared for challenges and outside groups have invested heavily in a number of races, the political winds have changed over the past few years. Slogans like “Stop funding the police,” which enjoyed a brief moment in the zeitgeist, became politically toxic, while Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 Democratic primary and then in the general election showed a model for major Democrats to be successful after many on the left were disappointed by defeats. Back-to-back Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
No more major progressives achieved initial victories. Two incumbents who helped prevent Joe Biden’s House reconciliation plan lost re-election. In Oregon, incumbent President Kurt Schrader, one of the most conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives, lost to challenger Jimmy MacLeod Skinner, and in Georgia, Lucy MacBath defeated Carolyn Purdue in a battle between two incumbents.
Almost from the moment Joe Biden was declared the winner in 2020, critics in Washington have been looking forward to trying to predict what will happen in 2022.
Sometime in 2021, Democrats were optimistic that aversion to the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the end of the COVID-19 pandemic would cut Trump’s control of American politics and start a new progressive era. Sometime in 2022, Republicans saw Biden approval numbers plummet while inflation and gas prices soared, and they predicted a red wave as the GOP would win victories similar to the midterm landslides in 1994 and 2010.
Increasingly though, judging by the polls, 2022 looks like a continuation of the grim trench war of 2020, when Biden outplayed Trump and Democrats narrowly won the Senate in a tie in runoffs in Georgia, but Republicans got 15 A seat in the House of Representatives has shrunk. The majority of Democrats to a few seats. While the GOP still favors control of the House, there is now little chance that Democrats can keep the Supreme Court’s decision to repeal Raw vs. Wade He appears to be the main factor supporting the Democrats.
But the ruling party has won seats in the House of Representatives only twice since World War II, and there Other reasons Democrats temper their latest optimism.
Instead of what either side thought was possible over the past two years, a divided nation will likely be represented once again in a divided Congress and the election results will simply resemble the continuation of the Trump era in American politics more than any other kind. Big shift.