Did far right candidates win in 2022 midterm elections? What it means – USA TODAY

Hi there, OnPolitics readers. We’re still waiting on the election results that will ultimately determine which party controls Congress, though Democrats secured control of the U.S. Senate.
Among other midterm election races still to be determined is Arizona’s gubernatorial race, which includes Trump-backed candidate Kari Lake. In a new report today, USA TODAY’s Erin Mansfield and Rachel Looker followed how such far-right candidates fared in the 2022 elections.
I asked Erin, whose past reporting roles span from coverage of small towns and state government in Vermont to East Texas before coming to USA TODAY’s national politics team, to share more of what these results mean:
Q: You reported on the outcome of some of the far-right candidates in the midterm elections. How did you define these candidates and what did you find?
Erin: We reported on a combination of people who are affiliated with the House Freedom Caucus or its campaign arm, people who were backed by Trump because of their stances on the 2020 election, and people on the right who make their way into the limelight regularly with inflammatory statements.  
Far-right candidates seemed to do just fine in very red areas, especially if they were incumbents. These include people like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Paul Gosar of Arizona.
Newcomers had a lot less luck, especially if they ran in swing states or swing districts. Then there were a couple in red districts where the far-right candidate lost or are waiting for results.  
In Colorado, Rep. Lauren Boebert is holding on to a slim lead, even though political analysts say this is a clear Republican district.
In Washington, Joe Kent was Trump’s pick to unseat Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in her primary, but Kent lost the general election to a Democrat.
Several candidates for secretary of state and governor have lost, and others are waiting for their races to be called.
Q: What does this tell us? What does it mean for the future of the GOP?
Erin: Republican voters in more moderate areas just aren’t going along with extremism, and that indicates a limit on the popularity for far-right extremism in the Republican Party.
There will always be pockets of the country where extreme candidates reign, but those messages aren’t translating well on a national scale.
Q: So what’s next? What results are we still waiting on? 
Erin: Boebert’s race in Colorado hasn’t been called, and votes are being counted in the Arizona race for governor.
The Senate and congressional races in Alaska will be determined during a count later this month. The Senate runoff in Georgia, a state where some of Trump’s candidates couldn’t make it past the primary, is coming up in December.
🗳️ Dig deeper: “A majority of voters are not buying what Trump is peddling,” said Rusty Hills, a former leader of the Michigan Republican Party.
📅 What’s next: House Republicans could vote as early as Tuesday on whether to keep Kevin McCarthy as their leader during the party’s organizational conference in preparation for the next congressional session. Why he might — or might not — be chosen as House speaker. –Sarah Day


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