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The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump

By Jonathan Freedland

09 Nov 2022 · 6 min read

And the loser is … Donald J Trump. The identity of the winners of America’s midterm elections was not clear the morning after the night before – even at lunchtime on Wednesday the TV anchors could not tell their audiences whether Democrats or Republicans would be in control of the House of Representatives or Senate – but there was no such ambiguity over the fate of the man who continues to loom over US politics, even two years after his removal from the White House. Trump took a beating.

True to form, the former president had wanted this election to be all about him. His rallies, nominally staged to boost support for Republican candidates in whichever state he had landed in, were instead intensely focused on himself. At an outdoor event in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Saturday night, for example, he spoke only fleetingly of the men running for governor or senator, devoting most of his two-hour speech either to relitigating the past – insisting, against all evidence, that the 2020 election was stolen from him – or hinting at a glorious future, talking up his prospects for retaking the presidency in 2024.

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