At least a dozen candidates for governor who were closely aligned with former President Donald Trump lost in this week’s midterm elections.
The list of states includes Pennsylvania, Maryland, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado, Kansas, and California. In Arizona, where Republican and election conspiracy theorist Kari Lake was running against Democrat and outgoing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the race was too close to call Wednesday. In Florida, where GOP’er Ron DeSantis was hoping for another term as governor, he crushed Dem challenger Charlie Crist, who was himself a past governor of the state, by nearly 20 percent. The win for the governor only adds to speculation he might challenge Trump in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, although neither DeSantis nor the ex-president have officially announced a candidacy. Donald will likely be confirming the candidacy at which he’s endlessly hinted in the near future, based on available reports — although he is also allegedly furious over the results of the elections held this week, which isn’t difficult to imagine.
Pennsylvania was among the more high-profile races in which a Trumper was running, with state Senator Doug Mastriano challenging Democratic contender Josh Shapiro to replace outgoing Dem Tom Wolf. Mastriano was involved with promoting conspiracy theories about what took place during the last presidential race. He helped put on a post-election hearing at which Rudy Giuliani and the ex-president himself — via speakerphone — pushed their nonsense, and Donald eventually cited the state Senator’s efforts to top leadership at the Justice Department. Mastriano also personally promoted delirious allegations regarding the election to department leadership, and if successful in this week’s elections, he could have helped enact suppressive new changes to conducting elections in his state, including a roll-back of Pennsylvania’s only recently implemented universal mail-in voting system, in which any Pennsylvanian can participate.
With what The New York Times estimated was 94 percent of the vote tallied, Mastriano was behind Shapiro by 13 percent. Also on the list were two other swing states where the presidential election results were highly contested after the 2020 race concluded: Wisconsin and Michigan. Wisconsin was closer, with Republican pick Tim Michels, who was open to not certifying presidential election results, down by 3.4 percent Wednesday. Donald’s choice in Michigan, first-time candidate Tudor Dixon, was losing by 10.6 percent as of that same point.
Daniel Dale, a fact-checker with CNN, identified the candidates in each of these states (excluding California and Kansas) as an election denier or questioner, with the latter category including those who might not have outright claimed the 2020 election was stolen but nonetheless allowed for the false possibility. In Kansas, GOP candidate for governor and current state Attorney General Derek Schmidt lost by 1.5 percent to Democratic incumbent Laura Kelly — and Schmidt’s background includes support in his attorney general role for the infamous Texas lawsuit after the 2020 election challenging the results in four states.
Prior to the election, the Cook Political Report forecasted the race for governor in Kansas as a toss-up, although the elections data and analysis site FiveThirtyEight gave Kelly a slight advantage. In California, GOP state Sen. Brian Dahle lost the race for governor to incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom by a predictably massive margin — although in New York, where Rep. Lee Zeldin was the Republican pick for governor against incumbent Kathy Hochul, the race ended up tougher than some might have expected. Zeldin ultimately lost by 5.6 percent, according to figures available Wednesday.