Forget Trump, Ted Cruz May Be the Biggest Loser of the Midterm Elections

Photograph Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Each day Beast/Getty

Within the aftermath of a disastrous midterm for Republicans, the blame sport has principally centered on former President Donald Trump’s ongoing poll field toxicity. However conservatives may additionally wish to solid a extra essential eye on the report of one other self-styled GOP influencer: Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cruz put his stamp on greater than two dozen GOP candidates this midterm, and it didn’t go properly. Most of them both misplaced or, with some totals nonetheless trickling in, are presently dropping.

Cruz centered his help on Home races, most particularly 24 of the 25 candidates collaborating in his “Cruz 25 for 22 Victory Fund” joint fundraising committee. Of the 24 candidates, solely 9 of them gained or are presently forward of their races. The group options simply one in every of Cruz’s fellow senators, Mike Lee, who gained his re-election bid after placing down a surprisingly robust problem from impartial candidate Evan McMullin.

The Cruz-tied “Fact and Braveness” tremendous PAC did even worse. The group, which overtly aligns with Cruz—to a probably illegal diploma—solely gained one of many three races that it funded. That may be the victory Rep.-elect Cory Mills scored over Karen Inexperienced in an open seat in Florida.

Ted Cruz’s Bizarre, Anti-Conservative Posturing on Elections

The opposite two candidates, New Hampshire’s Karoline Leavitt and Virginia’s Yesli Vega—each of whom cuddled as much as far-right figures throughout their campaigns—misplaced their elections, in races the place Republicans made main investments. And whereas Leavitt and Vega had been additionally a part of Cruz’s “25 for 22” squad, Mills, the tremendous PAC’s one winner, was not a member.

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Cruz can be tied to a joint committee for a handful of Senate candidates. That group, “Win the Senate 2022,” counts his management PAC alongside Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). Of the 5 2022 candidates within the committee, three have gained their races: Katie Britt in Alabama, J.D. Vance in Ohio, and Ted Budd in North Carolina. Dr. Mehmet Ouncesconceded in Pennsylvania and Adam Laxalt misplaced in Nevada.

And it’s with that report that the outspoken Texas conservative announced—the day after the election—that he can be the primary official to make a private look in Georgia for Republican Herschel Walker’s runoff marketing campaign.

For Cruz, it seems to be a newfound enthusiasm. Whereas he did make a earlier look in Georgia to again Walker, the embattled soccer legend wasn’t included in Cruz and Cornyn’s joint fundraiser, and no Cruz-tied committees have given Walker any cash for the overall election, in keeping with obtainable federal marketing campaign finance information.

The transfer got here as advisers and GOP powerbrokers—fearing a repeat of the 2021 Georgia contests the place Democrats flipped two seats—had been begging Trump to keep away from the runoff, and even delay his anticipated 2024 candidacy announcement till after the race was determined.

Cruz, nevertheless, had additionally injected himself into the 2021 runoffs. Again then, he ran Fb adverts in Georgia asking for donations to assist Republicans maintain their Senate majority.

Trump’s Candidates Fell on Their Faces. Is This the Ultimate Straw?

“Gun-grabbing, tax hikes, open borders, and stacking the Supreme Court docket. That’s the novel Democrat agenda in the event that they win the Georgia Senate elections,” Cruz stated within the adverts, soliciting small-dollar contributions to one thing he known as the “Preserve Georgia Pink fund.”

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Sadly for these Georgia GOP candidates, all the cash went straight to Ted Cruz, and each Republicans misplaced.

But it surely’s not simply that Cruz’s candidates have underperformed; he’s additionally examined the bounds of the legislation to do it.

A “blatantly cynical” election legislation troll, Cruz’s political efforts this yr have appeared to flout guidelines designed to wall off candidates from tremendous PACs. The Each day Beast beforehand reported the astounding coincidental ties between Cruz and the Fact and Braveness tremendous PAC, each among the many group’s megadonors and its distributors.

Marketing campaign finance legislation makes it unlawful for a candidate to determine, direct, finance, or management a brilliant PAC that raises cash in limitless quantities. And Cruz went as far as to make private appearances at Fact and Braveness fundraising occasions across the nation—one outlet even known as it “Cruz’s ‘Fact and Braveness PAC’ tour”—elevating questions on what precisely he was campaigning for.

The tremendous PAC web site promoted its nationwide tour with Cruz, singling out 4 Senate candidates: Laxalt, Walker, Vance, and Arizona’s Blake Masters. Solely Vance gained his election.

And earlier this yr, Cruz filed some weird studies that confirmed he had turned his personal marketing campaign into one thing of a brilliant PAC, making a sequence of impartial expenditures on behalf of a former staffer, Cassy Garcia—whereas probably violating coordination guidelines. The increase helped push Garcia throughout the road in her Texas major.

On Tuesday, Garcia misplaced the overall election to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX).

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