Is Trump Hurting the GOP? Here’s How MAGA vs. Other Republicans Performed in the Midterms.

Former President Donald Trump has been widely blamed for Republicans’ disappointing showing in last week’s midterms. But do the election results bear that out?


The GOP is trying to decide if Trump can still keep his 2016 promise to “win so much you may even get tired of winning.”


As Republicans trade blame for their election performance — which saw them win control of the House but not the Senate — a New York Times analysis of electoral outcomes showed that “MAGA” candidates endorsed by Trump fared worse than other Republicans.

“MAGA” candidates underperformed other Republicans by about five percentage points on average, Nate Cohn, the Times chief political analyst, found.

  • The difference was even bigger in competitive districts, per Cohn, with “MAGA” candidates getting 6.6 points less vote share than other Republicans.

The details: Cohn used the Cook Political Report’s primary scorecard to determine which midterms candidates were “MAGA” and which were “traditional” Republicans.

  • He then looked at how much of the vote each candidate received in 2022 compared to the Republicans in their districts in 2020, controlling for party control and incumbency.
  • “Here’s another way to think about it,” Cohn explained. “Non-MAGA Republicans in 2022 ran six points better than Mr. Trump did in 2020; the MAGA Republicans barely fared better than him at all.”


While some Republicans have cited the midterms in opposing Trump’s newly launched 2024 campaign for the White House, others have countered that the former president is being used as a scapegoat for deeper problems.

  • “Any autopsy of Republican underperformance ought to focus on how to close the national money gap, and how to turn out less engaged Republicans during midterm elections,” Trump-backed Sen.-elect JD Vance, R-Ohio, wrote in a Wednesday essay for The American Conservative.
  • “These are the problems we have, and rather than blaming everyone else, it’s time for party leaders to admit we have these problems and work to solve them.”