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PALM BEACH, Fla. – Donald Trump wasn’t on the ballot Tuesday, but he has spent the past two years acting in other ways and aiming to give the Republican Party an important victory. name.

Some hotly contested races remained too close to call out early Wednesday, but without the “huge red wave” Trump has spent weeks begging his supporters to deliver. It was clear.

In several key states, Trump-backed candidates have lost or fared poorly. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Josh Shapiro won the gubernatorial race against Republican Doug Mastriano, and Democrat John Fetterman defeated Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz to usurp control of the U.S. Senate seat. In Michigan, Trump’s gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon failed in her bid to remove Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

In Arizona, Kari Lake and Blake Masters campaigned together as the “America First” candidate in Trump’s mold, but both fell behind in races for governor and Senate, respectively. However, the result was too close.

Some of Trump’s candidates have performed well, including Ohio’s Republican Senate candidate JD Vance. And Trump’s most personally invested candidate, former football player Herschel Walker, a Georgia senatorial candidate, has been shaken by allegations that he paid to encourage women to have abortions. It is

One of the party’s biggest wins of the night was in Florida. Where Governor Ron DeSantis won re-election It has a margin like no other Republican has seen in 20 years.

Unlike four years ago, the governor did not seek the former president’s help for re-election when Trump’s endorsement helped boost DeSantis’ weak campaign. He was the target of taunts by Trump on Sunday.

Trump’s targeting of DeSantis is partly because he is widely seen as a leading candidate to replace the former president in the Republican nomination.

DeSantis has not said whether he will run for the White House, but Trump said: Next week, he plans to announce his candidacy for the presidency for the third year in a row. – told reporters that he sees Mr. DeSantis as a competitor.

i don’t feel like partying

The close race in the rest of the constituencies puzzled Mr. Trump. At an election night party at his Mar-a-Lago resort, he was not particularly interested in addressing the crowd, according to people familiar with the matter. One person was Ms. Katie Britt, a Republican Senator from Alabama whose victory was taken for granted.

He didn’t mention DeSantis’ victory, instead focusing on the widespread victory of Senator Marco Rubio, who campaigned alongside Trump.

To demonstrate his continued influence over the party, Trump endorsed nearly 300 candidates in the 2022 midterm elections. Never before had a former president been more actively involved in party politics when, in 1908, Teddy Roosevelt reconsidered appointing William Howard Taft as his Republican successor.

Trump’s intense interest in the midterm elections is almost entirely due to his desire to make amends after losing the 2020 presidential election and his desire to keep the party loyal to himself. is doing.

Since Trump shocked the Republican establishment in 2016 by sweeping the Republican Party, his political style has done more collateral damage to his fellow conservatives than his electoral success. He was the first president in decades to lose the House, Senate and White House within four years of him. Trump wanted celebration, but there wasn’t much to cheer for

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