Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Lindsey Graham: "Definitely not a Republican wave, that's for darn sure"

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) acknowledged Tuesday night that his party's midterm results were thus far underwhelming, telling NBC: "Definitely not a Republican wave, that's for darn sure."

Why it matters: With tailwinds that included an unpopular Democratic president, persistent inflation, and historical trends that favor the party out of power, some Republicans had high expectations for winning dozens of seats in the House and comfortably winning the Senate.

  • Results were still rolling in at the time Graham made his comments (just before 11pm ET), but Democratic holds in the New Hampshire Senate race, Virginia's 7th congressional district and other key toss-up seats suggested GOP hopes for a "red tsunami" were not coming to fruition.
  • Graham expressed particular frustration at New Hampshire Senate nominee Don Bolduc, a MAGA-aligned candidate whom many establishment Republicans feared as too extreme to win a general election: "If you run that far behind your governor candidate, you probably made a mistake," Graham said.

The big picture: "I think we're going to be at 51, 52 when it's all said and done in the Senate," Graham told NBC, expressing optimism about Republicans' chances for the remaining Senate battleground races in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Wisconsin.

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