Nov 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Stephen Miller blames McConnell, lack of funds for failed "red wave"

Former Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Miller laid out a number of issues that he saw as the reason Republicans failed to materialize a "red wave" during the midterm elections during an appearance on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures,” including issues with funding and messaging.

Driving the news: Democrats have clinched control of the Senate while the House remains too close to call, with Republicans leading by a thin margin.

The big picture: Miller pointed to mail-in voting as one hurdle for Republicans, claiming that by the time Republican Mehmet Oz began to resurge in the polls for his U.S. Senate race closer to Election Day, many people had already cast their ballots.

  • "The financial disparity between the Democrats and Republicans is still enormous, particularly at the top of the ticket," Miller said, adding that Sen. Mark Kelly's (D-Ariz.) campaign "drowned" out that of Trump-backed challenger Blake Masters.
  • "We have to note the extraordinarily fateful decision on the part of the Senate Leadership Fund and Mitch McConnell to take the money that should have been spent in Arizona to get Blake up on TV early on, and instead give it to Lisa Murkowski for a Republican battle against the Republican-backed nominee in Alaska," he said.

The third reason behind the lack of a red wave was the "need to win independent voters by seizing on winning wedge issues and fighting for them with every breath that you have," Miller said, noting that Democrats do this more successfully than Republicans.

  • Miller pointed to abortion as an example. "Democrats don't need it to be a majority issue, they just need it to be an issue that they can target and activate the right voters with, with overwhelming enthusiasm. "
  • Miller said that Democrats' intention to secure abortion rights if they won Congress was certain, while Republicans' ability to "shut down the border crisis" if they won both chambers of Congress was not.

The bottom line: If issues like the border crisis and crime are just "Election Day talking points, you're not going to break through the funding disparity, you're not going to break through the media bias, you're not going to break through to independent voters, you're not going to break through to any human being alive in a swing state," Miller said.

  • "So you're going to lose these close races because the Republican brand, set by Mitch McConnell on down, is not exciting, is not persuasive, is not convincing to voters," Miller said.
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