Draft GOP Midterm Post-Mortem Says It’s Time to Shut Up About Election Fraud
A draft report analyzing the disastrous performance by Republicans in the 2022 midterms suggests it’s time to stop hawking claims of election fraud. The report, a portion of which was obtained by CNN, advises that voters have “no patience for endless conversations relitigating previous elections from Democrats and Republicans.”
Republicans approached the midterms confident that a “red tsunami” would rip control on Congress and state legislatures from Democrat’s hands. The promised red wave never manifested, Democrats retained control of the Senate, and Republicans secured only the narrowest of majorities in the House.
In November, the Republican National Committee announced that it would be conducting a “post-mortem” review exploring the reasons behind the underperformance. According to The Washington Post, which first reported on the existence of the draft report, the initial findings were circulated amongst attendees to a Republican National Committee meeting in Oklahoma City this week.
The report included several suggestions, including that Republican candidates’ hesitancy to discuss abortion in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade allowed Democratic candidates and voters to build enthusiasm around the issue of abortion rights.
Sources who described the report to the Post said that it also recommended the GOP cease its attacks on early and mail-in voting. The suggestion contradicts a multi-year campaign by conservative politicians and pundits to increase enthusiasm over the elimination of alternatives to day-of ballot box voting. “Republican campaigns must push our supporters to vote early in person or by mail. Republicans cannot continue to give Democrats a head start,” read the draft copy obtained by CNN.
Notably, the report does not directly mention former President Trump, a glaring omission given that many of the recommendations contradict staples of his 2024 platform. Trump has refused to abandon claims of fraud in the 2020 election. During a rally in New Hampshire on Thursday the former President reiterated to a crowd of supporters his belief that the election was “rigged.”
Trump is currently the frontrunner in the GOP’s already crowded race for the 2024 nomination. According to the Post, outright naming Trump in the report would violate RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s promise that the committee would remain neutral in their arbitration of the primaires.
Regardless, the report raised questions for the party about its inability to appeal to the majority of the nation’s voters, and what that means for future election cycles. “Republicans have only won the popular vote once in the last eight presidential elections,” read the draft, “clearly, something is not working for us.”