Trump 2022’s Biggest Loser

The 2020 loser has doubled down on losing.

Source: The White House

If there’s anything uniting Americans in these divided times, it’s that the 2022 election was not a good one for Donald Trump and the candidates he endorsed.

Fox News (“Trump blasted across media spectrum over Republicans’ midterms performance: ‘Biggest loser tonight’“)

Axios (“1 big thing: Trump’s the loser as GOP falters“)

Fox News (“JD Vance didn’t mention Trump in Ohio Senate victory speech despite endorsement“)

Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner (“Blame Trump for weak Republican performance“):

The verdict is in: Against massive public dissatisfaction with the direction of a country led entirely by Democrats, former President Donald Trump’s Republican Party still scared enough voters that it embarrassingly underperformed in this year’s elections .

The less Trump-like the Republican candidates, the better they did. In Ohio, centrist Gov. Mike DeWine outpolled Trump-selected Senate candidate J.D. Vance by more than 15 points (in their respective races). Trump actively trashed Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp , but Kemp won his race easily. Meanwhile, Trump-chosen Senate candidate Herschel Walker, at this writing, is barely hanging on to relevance by his fingernails.

Trump chose Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania over the impressive David McCormick, but Oz couldn’t even beat a stroke victim who was a bad mayor of a tiny town and an absentee lieutenant governor. Trump chose the extremist oddball Blake Masters in Arizona over accomplished state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and Masters, at this writing, is trailing very badly in the vote count.

Again and again, Republicans are vastly falling short in races they thought, just 24 hours earlier, they would win. Sitting in their ideological bubble, party leaders refused to listen when they were told again and again that Trump scares or disgusts people so viscerally that he drives turnout among otherwise disappointed and apathetic Democratic-leaning voters.

Liz Peek, Fox (“Ron DeSantis is the new Republican Party leader“):

The biggest winner of the midterm elections was without a doubt Governor Ron DeSantis, whose landslide victory in the state of Florida was breathtaking.

The biggest loser? Donald Trump, whose handpicked loyalist candidates in a number of races struggled to beat vulnerable Democrats. Once again, the former president may have cost Republicans control of the Senate, in a year when it was theirs to lose.

Many will conclude, on the basis of the midterm 2022 results, that the Republican Party is ready to move on, without Donald Trump as its leader. 

Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, WaPo (“One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump.”):

One likely contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 had a triumphant night on Tuesday, and it wasn’t Donald Trump.

The former president spent the final days of the campaign lashing out and even threatening Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose apparent interest in running against Trump has puzzled him, according to advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect private conversations. The Florida governor didn’t return fire, other than to hold his own campaign event on Saturday, competing with a Trump rally in Miami and further irking the former president.

Come election night, however, it was DeSantis holding the ebullient victory party, having won reelection in a 20-point landslide, almost 15 points better than Trump’s 2020 margin in their shared home state. At the party, DeSantis’s supporters chanted “Two more years!” — encouraging the governor to seek the presidency before finishing his second term.

Trump’s own watch party, by contrast, was diminished by a tropical storm barreling toward his Mar-a-Lago resort, located by Wednesday morning in a mandatory evacuation zone. Trump spoke briefly Tuesday night to thank reporters for attending, boast about his winning record of endorsements and congratulate a few Republican candidates who’d won or were leading. But not DeSantis.

“Wouldn’t that be funny if we were better in the general election than on the [primary] nominations,” Trump mused, as if still processing the results himself. He spent Tuesday night among longtime advisers and donors who, like other Republicans, expected a better showing on Tuesday.

After leaving the stage, Trump took to his social media site Truth Social to cheer for the downfall of Republican Senate hopefuls Don Bolduc in New Hampshire and Joe O’Dea in Colorado, whose victories could have lifted the party toward a majority that remained uncertain Tuesday night.

Even Trump seems to understand what’s going on.

Shelby Talcott and David Weigel, Semafor (“Donald Trump’s candidates slumped and he’s looking for someone to blame“):

It was a rough night for Republicans on Tuesday, but especially for prominent candidates who scored Donald Trump’s early endorsement or mimicked his style of politics and echoed his false claims about the 2020 election.

Trump, who spent the early Wednesday morning hours defending his record on Truth Social, awoke the day after his viewing party at Mar a Lago in a particularly angry mood, in part over Republican Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz, who lost to Democrat John Fetterman.

Trump’s anger, two people close to Trump told Semafor, was widespread — ranging from frustration at donors to being upset with Fox News host Sean Hannity. The former president even blamed his wife, Melania, over her push to bolster Oz, according to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.

MEDIAite (“Trump Adviser Tells CNN’s Jim Acosta Trump Is Super-Pissed And ‘Sceaming at Everyone’ Over ‘Humiliating’ Midterms“):

Former President Donald Trump is “livid” and “screaming at everyone” over Tuesday night’s midterm results, a Trump adviser tells CNN’s Jim Acosta — whom Trump hates with the fire of a thousand suns.

Trump’s ire has been building in public and in private as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis becomes a greater and greater threat to his bid for a second term in 2024.

On Wednesday morning, Acosta gave readers an early taste of Trump’s state of mind following an Election Night that figures to be a crashing disappointment for Republicans, and which is already being blamed on Trump.

Acosta wrote on Twitter that “‘Trump is livid’ and ‘screaming at everyone,’ after last night’s disappointing midterm results for GOP, according to a Trump adviser. The adviser went on to slam the former president’s handpicked contenders: ‘they were all bad candidates.’ ‘Candidates matter,’ the adviser said.”

The blow was so crushing that the idea of delaying his promised 2024 announcement appears to have been floated in Trumpworld.

“This adviser said it’s unlikely Trump would delay his expected presidential announcement because ‘it’s too humiliating to delay.’ But the adviser said there are too many unknowns at this point,” Acosta wrote.

In an ideal world, this would cause party leadership to realize that running unqualified lunatics is a less than optimal strategy for winning national elections. Alas, our system is mostly bottom-up, with the most rabid partisans choosing their candidates—often by simple plurality. And, since Trump and company have convinced them that the only way the nutjobs can lose is by fraud, it’s incredibly unlikely they’ll blame Trump, much less what passes for his platform.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, 2022 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    If the GOP is praying for a savior, they are going to be very disappointed in DeSantis. He will not bring about the 2nd Coming.

  2. Kathy says:

    That’s patently unfair.

    Benito has been the biggest loser in many years, many years. Manypeoplesaythat.

  3. Kathy says:

    Acosta wrote on Twitter that “‘Trump is livid’ and ‘screaming at everyone,’

    So, nothing’s changed. Same old Cheeto.

  4. Scott F. says:

    Here’s hoping DeSantis feels empowered by his Florida win yesterday and that he decides to take Trump on for the 2024 nomination. A cat fight for the GOP nomination would be good for entertaining the Politics as a Game press & punditry, if they each really bloody the other as would be expected, it would be good for showing true GOP colors.

  5. mattbernius says:

    And, since Trump and company have convinced them that the only way the nutjobs can lose is by fraud, it’s incredibly unlikely they’ll blame Trump, much less what passes for his platform.

    One thing to note is that most of the Trump/MAGA folks who have lose so far have been conceding rather than playing the fraud card. Probably the biggest test is if Lake loses the AZ election (and that’s still a big “IF”).

    As far as Trump, he’s boxed himself in. I think he has to run to stall prosecutions. And that means he has to make a splash ASAP and keep that campaign running as long as possible. I don’t see how we doesn’t attack DeSantis out of the gate (especially because that really is the only tool he has and its worked for him).

  6. Modulo Myself says:

    It wasn’t Trump. The GOP has zero issues for sane people. For example, some guy was talking about Dem-led Covid school closures and how salient of an issue that should have been…this is not what anyone who is sane cares about now. Bitter old people? Clusters of suburbanites on Long Island and Florida? Divorced dads? Sure, but most people have moved on and they aren’t screaming about how Covid happened and kids had their entire lives ruined because of one year of difficult circumstances due to a global pandemic. Most people don’t want to live like that, in the same way that most people don’t need to tune into Tucker every night to see surveillance cam videos of criminal activity.

    It’s just an ugly way to live. Keep in mind that an 18-year old voting this election was 8 when Sandy Hook went down. They were 8 when pundits said instead of banning guns let us teach children to rush shooters. This ugliness has been in their faces as they grew up and nobody is going to embrace it, except the freaks. More is coming, I hope.

  7. Hal_10000 says:

    “‘Trump is livid’ and ‘screaming at everyone,’

    Gonna be some ketchup on the walls of Mar-A-Lago today.

    Trump’s now lost three elections in a row — four really. He has always been a loser and always will be. And the GOP are stuck with him because throwing him off their backs would rend the party in two.

    I know schadenfreude is a bad thing but damn the tears of spineless Republicans taste nice about now.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    Given that Republicans are actively harmful to the US, my ideal scenario if there are runoff elections is that Trump announces next week. Then, during any runoff between a Dem and a Repub he is front and center and all over the news.

    Here’s my ideal scenario for 2024: Ron DeSantis is the Republican nom, either because he defeated Trump in the primary or because Trump dropped out realizing he couldn’t beat him. Trump then spends the whole campaign badmouthing and denigrating DeSantis and anyone who dares associate with him.

  9. Mikey says:


    Gonna be some ketchup on the walls of Mar-A-Lago today.

    The actual red wave.

  10. CSK says:


    Trump has already attacked DeSantis: Today he said that DeSantis might “hurt himself very badly” if he runs in 2024.

    He also said he’d release “very unflattering” info on DeSantis.

    Mafia tactics.

  11. Jen says:

    It is going to be very, very hilarious to watch members of the GOP attempt to disentangle themselves from Trump specifically, while trying to maintain the rhetoric he’s now cemented as GOP policy.

    They’re going to be running faster than Josh Hawley on Jan. 6 footage.

  12. Modulo Myself says:

    The thing about DeSantis is that he’s just not a normal person. He exudes creepiness and his entire allure is about a certain type of winning. Which is to say: he wins like a creep, and that might work in a state where creeps have flocked, but normal people tend to be averse when winning-at-all-costs is so blatant. It suggests something, you know? Combine that with his utter lack of humor, and he’s not a candidate who is going to do better than Trump, who had actual charm and was funny.

  13. Scott says:


    Trump’s now lost three elections in a row — four really.

    Waiting for pundits to put Trump in the same category and Stacy Abrams and Beto O’Roarke. That will improve his disposition.

  14. Scott says:

    @CSK: Seems to me reporters should be asking DeSantis what “unflattering information” Trump is talking about.

  15. Kathy says:


    I’ll bet ten to one Benito has nothing on Florida Man.

    I mean, nothing that will hurt him with the GQP base.

  16. Scott says:

    I wonder if those who are wringing their hands about indicting Trump (if evidence justifies it, of course), have their backbones stiffened.

  17. Kathy says:


    Trump’s now lost three elections in a row — four really.

    I think that’s unfair. In 2020, counting all the lawsuits in various courts, he lost that election nearly 60 times.

    He has always been a loser and always will be.

    I’ve no comment on this. I just like how it sounds.

  18. Modulo Myself says:


    If it’s scandalous, no. If it’s humiliating, then it could be. Trump has a good way of taking the little men of the GOP and showing that they’re little men.

  19. CSK says:

    @Scott: @Kathy:

    I’m with Kathy on this. Trump has nothing. This is one of his favorite ploys. He claims to have dirt on someone, and then he never mentions it again.

  20. mattbernius says:

    I’m looking forward to the point where the few remaining right-wingers who occasionally post here decide to go all in on “I never actually supported him.”

  21. Modulo Myself says:

    Also, the last proper time to turn on Trump was after January 6th. Not now. Doing so now looks remarkably pathetic and it’s going to be hilarious, I think, to watch this attempt unfold.

  22. Scott says:

    @CSK: Oh, I agree with you but I like the idea of DeSantis being questioned about it. Potential hilarious results.

  23. Kathy says:


    Remember during the kerfuffle with Comey, before he was sacked, Benito said something about having tapes of their discussions. Comey said something like “God, I hope there are tapes.” Then we heard nothing about tapes form then on.

  24. CSK says:

    Indeed I do recall that. I also remember back when he claimed he’d sent detectives to Hawaii to investigate Obama’s birth certificate and that they discovered “incredible things.”

    Trump never revealed what those things were.

  25. Michael Cain says:

    @Scott F.:

    Here’s hoping DeSantis feels empowered by his Florida win yesterday and that he decides to take Trump on for the 2024 nomination.

    It’s a long way to the 2024 campaign trail. I note that DeSantis has another hurricane/tropical storm to deal with tonight, and a property insurance industry in ongoing collapse. I expect that by the beginning of the 2023 hurrican season, the property insurance collapse will have spread to the mortgage business, and corporate money to be fleeing the state at an increasing pace.

  26. Just nutha says:

    @Modulo Myself: Exactly!!! Trump has never been anything other than the embodiment of what the GOP is. Trump being displaced means nothing in terms of who Republicans are and how they misgovern/don’t govern.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott F.: I said in another thread that DeSantis is not ready for prime time and that his landslide in Florida has done him no favors. Here’s hoping you and I are both right. trump will slaughter him.

  28. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Hi folks. In a different thread, in a discussion with @Ozark Hillbilly, I pointed out some really great schadenfreude.

    If you need some smiles, take a look at the comment section at

    Everyone… Every. Single. One. is saying that Trump cannot be the 2024 candidate.

    Their angst is … transcendent.

  29. DrDaveT says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    The GOP has zero issues for sane people.

    Why do you think abortion is suddenly such a big deal for the GOP? They needed an issue that not-brain-dead not-conspiracy-theorist voters could get behind. And they found it.

  30. Andy says:


    Mafia tactics.

    That’s been his MO from the start. That, combined with extreme narcissism, explains his behavior better than anything else.

    And when no one is afraid of the Mafia don anymore, then the don tends to get replaced.

  31. CSK says:

    Oh, I know. I’ve been pointing that out for seven years now.

  32. Kathy says:


    But failing mafia dons tend to get shot in the head or thrown in prison.