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Detailing loss after loss by candidates that Donald Trump endorsed in the midterm elections, the Wall Street Journal on Thursday called the former president “the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.” The Rupert Murdoch-owned paper’s move came the same day his New York Post ran a cover depicting the former president as “Trumpty Dumpty,” signaling Rupert’s break with Trump once and for all.
“Trumpy Republican candidates failed at the ballot box in states that were clearly winnable. This can’t be what Mr. Trump was envisioning ahead of his ‘very big announcement’ next week. Yet maybe the defeats are what the party needs to hear before 2024,” the Journal wrote in an unsigned editorial following the massive disappointment for Republicans in the midterm elections.
It’s just the latest sign that Murdoch is shifting his empire’s support away from the 45th president, who is expected to announce his candidacy for the 2024 Presidential race on Tuesday. In addition to the front page Thursday that depicted the billionaire businessman as “Trumpty Dumpty,” the Murdoch-owned New York Post also featured an op-ed that labeled him “Toxic Trump.”
“Looking at the Senate map, the message could not be clearer,” the Journal said, pointing out that Democrats bested candidates who denied the 2020 election results, a key factor in a Trump endorsement, from New Hampshire to Arizona.
In New Hampshire, the Journal maintained that Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who was re-elected to his current job by 16 points, could have taken the Senate seat from Democrat Maggie Hassan. In Arizona, Trump-endorsed Republican Blake Masters trails Democrat Mark Kelly, but the Journal said former Gov. Doug Ducey could have won. Ducey refused to join in the 2020 election fraud chorus.
Likewise, in Pennsylvania, Trump-backed Mehmet Oz lost to John Fetterman, who the Journal labeled a “weak candidate” who is both “a lefty” and recovering from a stroke. “David McCormick would have been a better Republican nominee, but he wouldn’t say the 2020 election was stolen, so Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Oz,” the Journal wrote.
And in Georgia, Trump-backed Hershel Walker will face Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in a runoff election, despite Republican Gov. Brian Kemp winning by eight points. “Mr. Walker’s flaws as a candidate were obvious, but Mr. Trump helped clear the primary field and other candidates opted out,” the paper said.
The Journal gave the credit for the one Trump-backed win in the Senate, Ohio’s J.D. Vance, to a Super Pac aligned with Sen. Mitch McConnell, noting that Vance trailed in the polls before a $32 million infusion of campaign cash late in the contest.
Trump’s gubernatorial candidates did no better, losing “winnable” races in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the editorial said.
The withering assessment came four days after the paper blasted Trump for “mocking his fellow Republicans and potential competitors” ahead of the vote, after a Saturday rally in Pennsylvania in which he tried to give a new nickname to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
While Trump-backed candidates failed, DeSantis swept to victory for a second term with 59.4% of the vote.
Commenters at Murdoch’s Fox News are also shifting toward DeSantis and away from Trump, The Washington Post reported, with some even declaring the Florida governor the frontrunner for 2024.
“Since his unlikely victory in 2016 against the widely disliked Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump has a perfect record of electoral defeat,” the Journal wrote, pointing to the 2018 midterms that enabled a Democratic takeover of Congress and his own defeat in 2020. “He then sabotaged Georgia’s 2021 runoffs by blaming party leaders for not somehow overturning his defeat,” to give Democrats control of the Senate.
“Now Mr. Trump has botched the 2022 elections, and it could hand Democrats the Senate for two more years,” the editorial continued, charging that the former president “has led Republicans into one political fiasco after another.”
The Journal recalled an old comment from Trump that “we’re going to win so much, that you’re going to get sick and tired of winning.”
“Maybe by now Republicans are sick and tired of losing,” the paper concluded.