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Former President Donald Trump speaks during an election night event at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump “is livid” and “screaming at everyone” after last night’s disappointing GOP results in the midterms, a Trump adviser who has been in contact with Trump’s inner circle tells CNN.
“Candidates matter,” the Trump adviser said. “They were all bad candidates,” the adviser continued, critiquing many of Trump’s handpicked contenders in key battleground states.
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.
The most striking loss for Trump came in Pennsylvania, where Republican Mehmet Oz fell to Democrat John Fetterman in what was the most expensive Senate race in the country. Trump endorsed Oz, during the contentious Republican primary, effectively pulling through a brutal primary and narrowly into the general election. But where the former president’s backing was decisive in the primary, it was an albatross in the general election for a Republican Senate candidate who was attempting to make inroads in the suburbs by touting his own moderation.
While Trump did score some Senate wins — Trump-backed GOP JD Vance defeated a stronger than expected challenge from Democrat Tim Ryan in the Ohio Senate race, while Republican Ted Budd defeated Democrat Cheri Beasley in North Carolina — those wins have so far been limited to clearly lean Republican states.
In the House, too, Trump acolytes lost in what were seen as competitive contests that Republicans needed to win if they were going to build a significant majority in the legislative body.
In New Hampshire, former Trump aide Karoline Leavitt lost to Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas in what was seen as a highly competitive contest. In North Carolina, Trump-backed Republican Bo Hines lost to Democrat Wiley Nickel in a race that was widely seen as a test of the former President’s influence. And in Ohio, Democratic state Rep. Emilia Sykes defeated Republican Madison Gesiotto Gilbert who bullishly touted her ties to Trump.
Trump’s evening was particularly bad when viewed through the lens of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ romp of a night.
DeSantis, Trump’s clearest rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, overwhelmingly won reelection on Tuesday, crushing Democrat Charlie Crist by nearly 20 percentage points, continuing to consolidate Latino support in Florida and even by winning populous counties like Miami-Dade.
The headline in Trump’s one-time hometown paper, the New York Post, said it all: “DeFUTURE,” the headline blared, showing the Florida Republican on stage with his family.