Despite an attempt to purge the Republican Party of officials who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, some were able to come out on top in the 2022 midterm elections.
On Monday, The Associated Press projected that Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) will win reelection.
Decision Desk HQ projects Rep. David Valadao (R) wins re-election to the U.S. House in California’s 22nd Congressional District.#DecisionMade: 9:08pm EST
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) November 22, 2022
The news comes as Republicans are expected to have a razor-thin majority in the House after Democrats vastly over-performed expectations in the 2022 midterm elections.
There were 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. And only two were able to win their primary elections.
Valadao was one of them. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) was the other, and he also won reelection.
Given the results of the midterm elections, their victories should really stand out.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) also voted for impeachment and chose to run for reelection. She narrowly lost her primary to Trump-backed Joe Kent in August. And in the general election, Democrats flipped control of that seat as well.
Kent’s loss marked the first time in 12 years that Democrats won the seat.
There were two Trump-backed primary challengers who defeated pro-impeachment incumbents and won in the general election.
Harriet Hageman notably beat Rep. Liz Cheney (R) in the reliably red state of Wyoming and went on to win in the general election. And In South Carolina, Russell Fry beat Tom Rice in the primary and won the general election as well.
Others such as Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), and John Katko (R-N.Y.) simply chose not to run again.
In Kinzinger and Katko’s cases, their districts were redrawn in ways that were seen as favorable to Democrats.
While Republicans may not be happy with the lawmakers who voted for impeachment, given the results in the Senate and House races, they should be counting their blessings that Valadao and Newhouse won their primaries.
In a year that turned out to be pretty bad for Trump’s hand-picked candidates, Republicans came pretty close to failing to win the House. Even Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), in a district that was supposed to be more Republican-leaning after the redistricting process, nearly lost her reelection bid.
Republicans really could not afford to lose any more seats if they were to win the House. And in Washington and California, nominating Trump-backed candidates could have easily cost them the lower chamber.
Valadao and Newhouse’s election victories should be seen as just another sign that outside of the most conservative states, Trump’s brand is not really the electoral powerhouse that Republicans have been sold for the past six years.
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