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Political insiders explain what happened on election night, how Democrats avoided a ‘red wave’

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/political-insiders-explain-happened-election-night-democrats-avoided-red-wave

The 2022 midterm elections — both in the House and the Senate — did not go as planned for several Republican candidates seeking office, leaving voters to question how some Democrats survived tough elections and avoided the “red wave” that many within the GOP had predicted.

The Republican Party is favored to win a slim majority in the House, but it will likely be far smaller than many prominent party members and leaders anticipated ahead if the Nov. 8 elections — predicting that a “red wave” would dominate the midterms.

In the Senate, however, things do not look so bright for the GOP. A closely contested race in Georgia between incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Walker and his Republican challenger, football star Herschel Walker, is headed to a December runoff election. Should Walker come out on top in that election and match the Democrats’ 50 seats in the upper chamber, the Democrats will still have control of the Senate due to Vice President’s ability to cast a tie-breaking vote.

While several political insiders from across the spectrum believe issues like abortion and former President Donald Trump’s negatively impacted the GOP’s chances, others insist candidate quality played a role as Republicans hammered down on inflation and crime in the final days leading up to the elections.

MIDTERM ELECTION TRIFECTAS: DEMOCRATS WON FULL GOVERNMENT CONTROL IN THESE STATES

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, right.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, right.
(Sarah Silbiger, Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Even though several Republicans fared well in their elections, Ben LaBolt, who served as the national press secretary for former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, told Fox News Digital that “MAGA aligned” and “election denying extremists” did not perform well because their “radical” beliefs failed to resonate with persuadable voters.

“While relatively moderate Republican House candidates performed in line with expectations, MAGA aligned, election denying extremists lost nearly all of their tossup races,” LaBolt said. “Their beliefs were simply too radical for persuadable voters. President Biden and Democrats beat expectations by nominating mainstream candidates, passing a popular agenda to bring down costs for working Americans, and serving as a bulwark against extremism.”

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster said he believes the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn federal protections for abortion, as well as endorsements made by Trump, were among the reasons why Republicans faced difficulty this cycle.

“Republicans should have run away with this election,” Ayres, who serves as president of North Star Opinion Research, told Fox. “They did not because the Dobbs decision energized many women and younger voters, and because Trump endorsed numerous weak, first-time candidates who won primaries but could not win in a general election.”

Similarly, Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, told Fox that women and young voters made their voices heard in the elections as they distanced themselves from GOP candidates.

“Women and young people spoke,” said Lake, the president of Lake Research Partners. “They rejected Trumpism and division.”

HOW REPUBLICAN ENERGY IN NEW YORK HELPED PARTY CAPTURE KEY HOUSE SEATS

Former President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters during an election night party at Mar-a-Lago, Tuesday, November 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.

Former President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters during an election night party at Mar-a-Lago, Tuesday, November 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Christy Setzer, a Democratic strategist, said the GOP’s downfall in several elections was because “people are tired of the crazy.”

“At least in blue and purple states, voters sent a strong message that they don’t want to hear any more about transgender kids in sports or Big Lies about stolen elections; they want normalcy in their politics and they want to affirm respect for democracy,” said Setzer, president and founder of New Heights Communications. “The culture wars worked in red states, some of which only got redder, but Republicans deeply underperformed with the same groups that united for Biden’s victory in 2020: young voters, women, people of color, and independents. Inflation is temporary, but authoritarianism can last forever.”

For some, “candidate quality” that stifled the Republicans’ chances of widening the margin for its expected majority in the House and gaining back control of the Senate is an issue that needs to be addressed by the party moving forward.

“It’s pretty clear candidate quality matters and cost the GOP several winnable races,” Chris Wilson, a pollster and the former director of research and analytics for GOP Sen. Ted Cruz’s unsuccessful campaign, told Fox in a statement. “It’s equally clear that allegiance to Donald Trump should no longer be the deciding factor in Republican primaries. Further, it’s important GOP candidates have a forward-looking vision that deals with important issues such as inflation, crime and values. The time for relitigating the 2020 election is past and needs to be buried on the ash heap of political history.”

TOP WHITE HOUSE AIDE CLAIMS MIDTERM RESULTS SHOW WORLD LEADERS ‘HEALTH AND VIBRANCY’ OF US DEMOCRACY

Newly elected GOP Senators meet with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell in the Capitol in Washington, DC on November 15th, 2022.

Newly elected GOP Senators meet with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell in the Capitol in Washington, DC on November 15th, 2022.
(Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Lis Smith, a Democratic strategist who served as a senior advisor for Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign, told Fox that Republicans should “dial back the crazy” if they want to win elections in the future.

“Democrats were able to defy historical trends in the midterms and over-perform largely because the Republican nominated people who were way outside the mainstream,” Smith said. “It turns out that independent voters and a significant number of Republican voters simply will not vote for candidates who oppose abortion in all instances and who deny the results of the 2020 election. If the Republicans want to course correct, they need to dial back the crazy.”

Tommy Garcia, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the GOP’s lackluster performance in the midterms came after Democratic candidates drew comparisons between themselves and Republicans who “pose a real threat to reproductive freedoms, democracy, and everyday people’s pocketbooks.”

“While Kevin McCarthy and Tom Emmer were busy measuring their drapes and boasting that they would flip 60 to 70 seats, Democrats worked and drew a clear contrast between results-oriented Democrats who are working to lower costs and keep communities safe, and extreme Republicans who pose a real threat to reproductive freedoms, democracy, and everyday people’s pocketbooks,” Garcia told Fox.

Prior to the midterm elections, conservative firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas predicted in a Fox News interview that he believed the outcome of the 2022 elections would be “not just a red wave, but a red tsunami.”

Despite many losses in key elections, including Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s defeat of Republican Mehmet Oz in the Keystone State’s Senate election, the GOP was able to maintain control of several seats that Democrats had placed focus on for the midterms. Republican JD Vance defeated Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan to replace retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman in Ohio, while GOP Rep. Ted Budd defeated Democrat Cheri Beasley in North Carolina.

Pennsylvania Senate candidates John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz participate in a debate on October 25 in Harrisburg, PA.

Pennsylvania Senate candidates John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz participate in a debate on October 25 in Harrisburg, PA.
(NewsNation)

In the House, Republicans also flipped numerous seats that were held by Democrats in an effort to increase GOP strength in the chamber.

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“House Republicans delivered a check on Biden’s disastrous agenda, picked up seats for the second straight cycle and flipped the House for just the third time in 68 years,” National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Michael McAdams told Fox News Digital.

Notable victories include Republican Jen Kiggans’ defeat of Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria, a member of the House Jan. 6 committee, to represent Virginia’s 2nd District, as well as Lori Chavez-DeRemer’s election win over her Democratic challenger, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, to represent Oregon’s 5th District.

In New York, a state which largely votes for Democrats and mostly favors left-leaning policies, Republicans flipped four House seats.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/political-insiders-explain-happened-election-night-democrats-avoided-red-wave

Politics

Trump joins calls for Biden admin to ‘shoot down’ suspected Chinese spy balloon

Former President Trump has weighed in on the suspected Chinese spy balloon hovering above the northern United States, calling on President Biden and his administration to “shoot” it down.

“SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON,” Trump wrote in a Friday morning post to Truth Social.

Trump, who announced last November that he would make a third run for the White House in 2024, is not the only one calling for the Biden administration to take immediate action amid tension with China.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is expected to announce her 2024 presidential bid later this month, also called for aggressive action from the Biden administration.

CHINA CONFIRMS BALLOON IS THEIRS, AS SPOKESPERSON CLAIMS IT IS CIVILIAN RESEARCH AIRSHIP

Former President Trump has weighed in on the suspected Chinese spy balloon hovering above the northern United States, calling on President Biden and his administration to "shoot" it down.

Former President Trump has weighed in on the suspected Chinese spy balloon hovering above the northern United States, calling on President Biden and his administration to “shoot” it down.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

“Shoot down the balloon. Cancel Blinken’s trip. Hold China accountable,” Haley wrote in a tweet. “Biden is letting China walk all over us. It’s time to make America strong again.”

The Pentagon addressed the suspected surveillance balloon that was detected over Billings, Montana and said Thursday that while they considered taking down the possible threat, they ultimately decided against any action due to “the risk to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field,” according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

“From the spy balloon to the Chinese Communist Party spying on Americans through TikTok to CCP-linked companies buying American farmland, I’m deeply troubled by the constant stream of alarming developments for our national security,” Gov. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., wrote in a statement addressing the high priority concern.

The suspicious balloon, reportedly the size of three school buses, is currently being tracked by the U.S. government, but Montana lawmakers do not believe the Biden administration is doing enough to combat the potential threat.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., a fifth generation Montanan, demanded there be a “full security briefing from the administration on this situation.”

‘SHOOT IT DOWN’: MONTANA GOP DEMAND BIDEN TAKE OUT SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY BALLOON HOVERING OVER US FOR DAYS

“Shoot. It. Down. The Chinese spy balloon is clear provocation. In Montana we do not bow. We shoot it down. Take the shot,” Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., a former Navy SEAL, tweeted urgently on Thursday.

A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, Feb. 1, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media.

A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, Feb. 1, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media.
(Chase Doak/via Reuters)

“The fact that this balloon was occupying Montana airspace creates significant concern that Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and the United States’ intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fields are the targets of this intelligence gathering mission,” Daines wrote in a letter to Austin amid growing concerns over the balloon.

The People’s Republic of China confirmed Friday that the balloon craft floating over Montana is Chinese.

“The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed Friday. “Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”

The spokesperson said China regrets the incident.

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping
(Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS)

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The statement continued, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace due to force majeure. The Chinese side will continue communicating with the US side and properly handle this unexpected situation caused by force majeure.”

Announcing an investigation by China’s government to look into the reports of the balloon, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Friday during a daily briefing that “China is a responsible country and has always strictly abided by international laws, and China has no intention to violate the territory and airspace of any sovereign countries.”

She also urged U.S. officials and Chinese authorities to proceed “calmly and carefully” amid the investigation.

Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and Aubrie Spady contributed to this article.

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Politics

House GOP announces aggressive, first-of-its-kind effort to combat ESG movement

EXCLUSIVE: Republican leaders on the House Financial Services Committee are creating a first-of-its-kind task force to coordinate their response to various proposals related to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement.

Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said Friday that the ESG working group would lead the Republican effort to combat the threat ESG policies pose to U.S. capital markets. He added that Financial Services Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., would lead the initiative and appointed another eight GOP committee members to serve on the working group.

“Progressives are trying to do with American businesses what they already did to our public education system—using our institutions to force their far-left ideology on the American people,” McHenry said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. “Their latest tool in these efforts is environmental, social, and governance proposals. This is why I am creating a Republican ESG working group led by Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Chair Bill Huizenga.”

“This group will develop a comprehensive approach to ESG that protects the financial interests of everyday investors and ensures our capital markets remain the envy of the world,” he continued. “Financial Services Committee Republicans as a whole will continue our work to expand capital formation, hold Biden’s rogue regulators accountable, and support American job creators.”

REPUBLICAN STATES ARE PLANNING AN ALL-OUT ASSAULT ON WOKE BANKS: ‘WE WON’T DO BUSINESS WITH YOU’

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., speaks alongside fellow Republicans during a news conference on May 12, 2022.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., speaks alongside fellow Republicans during a news conference on May 12, 2022.
(Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

According to McHenry, the working group will be focused on reining in regulatory overreach from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), reinforce the materiality standard — which requires corporations to disclose key information to investors — “as a pillar” of the financial disclosure regime and hold those who misuse the proxy process that gives shareholders a saying in company decisions accountable.

The task force will ultimately organize Republican efforts to fight back against the ESG movement, educate congressmen on the issues and develop policy proposals.

LOUISIANA DIVESTS FROM BLACKROCK OVER ESG POLICIES: ‘WOULD DESTROY LOUISIANA’S ECONOMY’

“Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in West Virginia vs EPA that government bureaucracies cannot arbitrarily expand their own regulatory reach,” Huizenga said in a statement. “The SEC’s climate disclosure rule is a prime example of this overreach that would have a wide-ranging impact on hard-working Americans across all walks of life.” 

“I look forward to leading our committee’s ESG working group, which will focus on promoting strong, vibrant capital markets, while defending the interests of all retail investors,” the Michigan lawmaker added.

In addition to Huizenga, fellow committee members Reps. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., Bryan Steil, R-Wis., Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Monica De La Cruz, R-Texas, Erin Houchin, R-Ind., and Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., will serve on the working group.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler has led the charge on a climate disclosure rule that Republicans have characterized as dangerous.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler has led the charge on a climate disclosure rule that Republicans have characterized as dangerous.
(Reuters/Jose Luis Magana)

The ESG movement, which has picked up steam over the last few years, broadly seeks to promote a green energy transition and left-wing social priorities through the financial sector and major corporations. 

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It has largely been spearheaded by massive trillion-dollar asset managers and financial institutions like BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard, which have used their large stakes in large companies to push the adoption of ESG standards. The firms often utilize their outsized influence during the proxy voting process.

The movement has also been supported by Democratic lawmakers and the Biden administration which has moved ahead with various ESG actions over the last 12 months. 

For example, in March 2022, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, who President Joe Biden appointed a year earlier, unveiled rules requiring publicly-listed companies to disclose climate-related information, an action that Republicans and business industry leaders warned may be unconstitutional

And late last month, a Labor Department rule went into effect allowing retirement plan managers to factor ESG standards into investment decisions.

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House Homeland Security chair rips ‘weak’ Biden for hiding Chinese spy balloon, emboldening adversaries

EXCLUSIVE: House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green on Friday criticized the Biden administration for failing to keep Congress informed about the discovery of a Chinese spy balloon floating above the U.S., and said his committee should have been notified by the administration instead of the media.

“The Committee on Homeland Security of the U.S. Congress — a co-equal branch of government — should not be finding out about a CCP spy balloon over Montana in the news,” Green told Fox News Digital exclusively.

Green said the Biden’s weakness toward China and other countries is only emboldening U.S. adversaries, and said the committee “cannot stand by” the Chinese Communist Party attempts to overtake the U.S.

GOP PRESSURES BLINKEN TO STAND UP TO CHINA’S XI AFTER SPY BALLOON DISCOVERED: ‘YOU MUST RAISE THIS’

Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Mark Green, R-Tenn.

Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Mark Green, R-Tenn.

“The Biden administration owes us, and the American people, answers — now! Our adversaries around the world see a weak president in Joe Biden and are testing their boundaries. Time and time again, the President has failed in countering, curbing, and competing with Beijing,” Green told Fox News Digital.

“We cannot stand by as the CCP continues to exercise threats of intimidation in an unbridled attempt to overtake the U.S.,” Green continued, promising action by the committee.

US GOVERNMENT MONITORING SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY BALLOON OVER NORTHERN STATES

The chairman blamed the "weak" Biden administration for allowing U.S. adversaries to take such striking measures against America.

The chairman blamed the “weak” Biden administration for allowing U.S. adversaries to take such striking measures against America.
(The Associated Press)

The People’s Republic of China confirmed Friday that the balloon floating over the northern United States is Chinese.

China claimed that the airship is a civilian research craft that was blown far off course by prevailing winds, and that it regrets the incident.

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“The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed Friday. “Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”

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