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The Silver Linings from Last Tuesday That Conservatives Shouldn’t Ignore

AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris


Following last week’s midterm elections, the prevailing narrative among both Republicans and Democrats is that the GOP woefully underperformed expectations. But while Republicans indeed fell short in too many key races, the night was not without some noteworthy GOP successes – many of which flew under the radar amid more high-profile Democrat victories. Looking ahead to what is now shaping up to be perhaps an even more consequential national election cycle in 2024, conservatives would do well to pay attention to the races where they had unexpected success as well as those where they struggled.

Perhaps the biggest silver lining for Republicans is that the GOP is on track to win the national popular vote in U.S. House elections for the first time since 2016. If current trends hold, Republicans will have swung the electorate about 7 points from 2020 – a definitive rebuke of Democrat policies, no matter how the media and the White House try to spin it. To be sure, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives will be smaller than expected. But the GOP is still likely to flip the chamber, which means that they will be able to block the more radical elements of Joe Biden’s agenda.

Republicans were dealt some significant blows in House races early on in the evening, failing to oust endangered Democrat incumbents in places like the Virginia 10th (Jennifer Wexton) and Ohio 9th (Marcy Kaptur). But the GOP found unexpected success in other places, most notably New York’s 17th Congressional District, where Republican Mike Lawler defeated powerful Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney. Though Republican gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin lost to incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul, he outperformed expectations, likely helping Lawler and a number of other New York Republicans in tight House races. Crime was the major focus of Republican candidates throughout the Empire State, further suggesting that law and order is a winning issue for the GOP.

Republicans’ failure to flip the Senate is undoubtedly the biggest disappointment of the election cycle, but even here there were some victories the GOP can learn from. In Florida and Ohio, Republicans Marco Rubio and J.D. Vance easily defeated Democrat Reps. Val Demings and Tim Ryan, both of whom had attempted to pitch themselves as “moderates.” That strategy clearly failed, likely due in no small part to the Rubio and Vance campaigns relentlessly hammering home the fact that Demings and Ryan had voted with Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi 100 percent of the time in the House. Republicans should keep that in mind two years from now when they try to unseat Joe Manchin (WV) Sherrod Brown (OH) and Jon Tester (MT) – all red-state Democrats who have similarly branded themselves as “moderates” despite compiling a radical voting record.

In Wisconsin, the success of incumbent Republican Ron Johnson – despite the defeat of GOP gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels – shows the path forward for Republicans in swing states. Johnson won without apologizing for his conservative bona fides (including his close association with former President Donald Trump, which the media and some in the conservative establishment are now suggesting was the kiss of death for swing-state Republicans) by focusing heavily on the radical record of his opponent, Mandela Barnes, particularly on crime. With Democrat Senators in nearly a half dozen swing states facing reelection in 2024, Republican hopefuls would do well to study how Johnson leaned into the most popular aspects of the America First agenda to put Barnes on the defensive and paint a stark vision of the future under far-left governance.

Aside from congressional races, conservatives also saw some encouraging signs in down ballot contests that they should not ignore. In particular, concern over indoctrination in K-12 classrooms and parental rights in education led to a wave of success for conservative candidates in school board and superintendent races again this year, much as it did in 2021. The New Yorker sourly reported last Wednesday that “candidates fearmongering about unions and ‘critical race theory’ fared depressingly well” in midterm contests, specifically citing the Superintendent of Education race in South Carolina and dozens of school boards in Florida and Texas that flipped from liberal to conservative. Another story from the Daily Caller highlighted additional races where Republican school board candidates did well.

As AMAC Newsline has extensively reported, indoctrination in schools is a very real phenomenon, and raising concerns about the state of American education is far from “fearmongering.” It is evident that conservatives have public opinion on their side when it comes to keeping politics and left-wing ideologies out of classrooms, and that the mainstream media is perturbed over results in races for education posts should be a sign for the GOP to double down on the issue.

Republicans can also turn to individual results in state legislative races for encouragement. Take, for example, Ohio’s 3rd state Senate district, which comprises parts of Columbus and several inner suburbs. There, Republican Michele Reynolds, a Black businesswoman who emphasized her Christian faith and family values throughout her campaign, defeated incumbent Democrat Tina Maharath in what was considered a safe hold for Democrats. Reynolds’s success was another sign of the emergence of strong female minority candidates within the GOP and an expanding Republican coalition. Similar stories abounded in other states throughout the country, providing a roadmap for future success in both state and federal races.

Though this year’s midterms are ultimately a story of missed opportunities for the GOP, conservatives nonetheless have much to be hopeful about moving forward. Joe Biden is still deeply unpopular, the Democratic coalition is still fracturing, and Republicans have a hugely favorable Senate map in two years. By learning from the failures of 2022 and building upon the few bright spots for the party, Republicans can leverage their control of the House to set the stage to finally deliver on the promised Red Wave.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @Shane_Harris_.

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Marie Langley
17 days ago

It’s plain and simple, whoever has the most money wins!!!!! Clearly the Demoncrats have more money than the Republicans and they’re supposed to be for the “working class”. Yeah, right!!!!!

18 days ago

Why does AMAC continue to try to sell us the distortion that the Repubs had a
“good night” a week ago ? Hey, we are awake here ( not woke, thankfully). The
Repubs allowed 4 Aces to lose to a deuce.

18 days ago

My heart goes out to the good people of Pennsylvania. Fedderman? Really? This makes no sense whatsoever. I smell Soros again.

18 days ago

Too little too late. The democrats cheated again because they got away with it in 2020. And with McCarthy

Chester Bliven
18 days ago

Trump hating rhinos should never be the speaker of the House we need another honest person to be speaker of the House how about Donald Trump. And as far as I know Kevin McCarthy said there was no hanky panky in 2020 election check his voting record he’s voted along with the Democrats many times. I nominate Jim Jordan for speaker of the House .

18 days ago

The House

James H
18 days ago

Notice that those who unapologetically proclaimed conservative values–values that are best for our cities, states and country won in many instances. We need leaders who “say what they mean and mean what they say”. Many Republicans were compromised. They are not impassioned about what they proclaim. They are simply in politics to enrich and empower themselves.

18 days ago
Reply to  James H


18 days ago

Perhaps the Republican party will some day realize that voters actually expect to have candidates with character not character candidates.

18 days ago

The republic had a good run 244 years. Goodbye old girl missing you already.

19 days ago

Republicans didn’t swing the vote 7% their way. Biden/Pelosi swung it 7% away from democrats. If republican leadership(McConnell, McDaniel and McCarthy) did even a half-assed job the red wave would have occurred. They made terrible decisions. New leadership is a must if republicans hope to have any future.

18 days ago
Reply to  Russ

Totally agree, Republican leadership, names as stated above, has consistently failed. The RNC chair for the last three years had also failed and a new chair is needed. The Republican Party doesn’t work together to support each other and in order to be effective in the future it must do this.

18 days ago
Reply to  Russ


19 days ago

I think the American voters should be held accountable also. They don’t listen to different sides then do research for accuracy. But are quick to whine and not be accountable for their choices.

19 days ago

I think the takeaway is DeSantis forming a election fraud investigation unit and then Florida being a red wave. Cheaters are afraid of being held accountable for their crimes. They don’t have to worry in democrat/Soros controlled states but in Florida and maybe Texas they better worry.

Phil M
19 days ago

What is this crap about a silver lining?!? WHATEVER the reasons, we lost. You sound like Charlie Brown standing out on the pitcher’s mound in the rain saying “Wait until next year!” Sounds like AMAC, just like the three “Mc”s and millions of voters, have lost touch with reality.

19 days ago
Reply to  Phil M

Couldn’t have said it better!!

teresa Ann d'alessandro
19 days ago

i’m betting that the dums have cheated and lied in many states, i live in pa do you think common sense people wanted fedderman – ugh!!!! what is wrong with these dopes

William G
19 days ago

In Washington state, they use mail-in ballots and Dominion voting machines.In addition, the mail-in ballots have bar codes with either D or R.So which are the ballots to get counted??

Dave Campbell
19 days ago

Sorry, but silver linnings won’t cut it. We are on the edge of going over the socialist cliff, and when that happens there is no recovering. The leftists in control of the Democrat party need to be (politically) crushed.

Steven Tapper
19 days ago

We must mandate Photo Voter ID to participate in any Federal Election. Any political party who objects to this should have their candidates from running for Federal Elective Office. Everyone will have to provide a Photo ID in order to register to vote to even qualify for Mail In Balloting. In this day and age you need a Photo ID for everything and that should include voting. Non citizens are not eligible to vote in US elections as per our Constitution.

Steven Tapper
19 days ago
Reply to  Steven Tapper

I meant to say that any political party who objects to Photo Voter ID should have their candidates removed from participating in that election.

teresa Ann d'alessandro
19 days ago
Reply to  Steven Tapper

ha who is going to take the bull by the horn – whatever the dumos want to do they do and get away with it. the judges, lawyers, etc, too many are corrupt. makes me cringe

19 days ago

“The Silver Linings from Last Tuesday That Conservatives Shouldn’t Ignore” GOP is in need of new leadership, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and the rest of the GOP swamp needs to go

19 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Chris…….hear hear…….the republicans counted their chickens before they hatched again….they have a history of doing that….I was a Republican most of my adult life…….in my disgust With both parties I switched to be an independent……….. both parties are guilty of not caring about “Joe lunchbox”…..the folks on main st in this country………..this country is upside down……..we have a lot of stupid people voting now….it will only get worse when the democrats change the laws so thst illegals coming into this get the right to vote

18 days ago
Reply to  Walt

As I am sure you know, the problem with voting independent is they seldom win and that means the good candidate may lose. Libertarian viewpoints are considered radical by most, as the government has to be responsible for the many things which it takes a centralized government to do. Therefore voters need to do their research and vote for the candidate whose character most closely matches what the voter wants.
I do not “like” political parties either, but they wield a lot of power and can get a candidate elected or not elected.
I would like to see severe limits on the amount of total donations per candidate. Bans on all contributions from foreigners and or governments. Bans on large groups such as unions or companies that only donate in order to receive favors from the candidates they contributed to.
And limited free and equal TV and radio air time, like we used to have.

Michael Venaccio
19 days ago

Happy Monday Everyone…
Not to be a Davie Downer, BUT, if find absolutely NO silver lining in another election that was apparently rife with fraud, irregularities and downright theft. Why, for example, was the Lockdown Queen not defeated in Michigan?? Could it be those mysteries deliveries of bulk votes in Detroit after the polls closed??
What about PA, AZ, NV and others? it is obvious that ballots are being manufactured, so that the Ds will have just enough votes to win. I will not believe any of these results UNTIL a complete forensic audit-not just a recount-of all the ballots and the machines take place. It is really dumb for the state to not be allowed to take a look at the programming codes for the voting machines, yet some states agreed to contracts that limit their ability to verify the machine programming.
As a veteran, I know I did not serve so that unprincipled people, aided and abetted by others can steal and manipulate elections. Too many people have died to protect the right to vote.
So, unless people in the effected states band together and demand that state legislatures overhaul voting laws, the steals will continue. I will not mention how disappointed I am in all the institutions that were supposed to protect We the People from what is going on. Like the courts, the Supreme Court, the RNC, the Rs etc. all have a complicity in not challenging what is going on.

19 days ago

You can’t find any real support for your contention of fraud. Just because Trump wanted an excuse, you should find real evidence, rather than just being unhappy and finding fault in delayed counts, something that happens in every election. EVEN where your candidate wins.

Michael Venaccio
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Given all the documentation and affidavits from 2020 and all the issues with voting machines in AZ, and the photos of ballot deliveries in MI. I would respectfully submit that the proof is out there. Please take a look at everything.

The Margin of Error> Margin of Victory: In other words, the margin of error in the US Presidential election, within the contested states (see table), exceeds the margin of victory by approximately IS-times, and therefore we cannot determine a winner.
Figures below are based upon the work of Rudy Giuliani’s and Peter Navarro’s teams (see Appendix).

US President (2020)

Margin of Victory

Ballots Demanding

by Contested State





















Current Margin ofVictorv
Margin of Error

This from from the 2020 election and to the best of my knowledge the states in question have done nothing to change the situation. Ask yourself, why does it take so long in certain states with the R ahead for the vote-which always seems to favor Ds-to be counted?
If you have the time, please read “The 2020 Coup” by Patrick Colbeck and “The Big Fraud” by Congressman Troy Nehls. Very well documented.

But in a free society-such as it is-we can agree to disagree in a civil and friendly manner. Have a great week.

Larry W.
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Personally am dubious of widespred fraud but what is the proof that there was no fraud? We just take the word of the election officials? We need more than just recounts. Recounts just count the same old ballots whether legitimate or fraudulent. Let’s get a system of random checks of ballots and if there is no fraud then there is nothing to worrry about. Let’s put some integrity and trust back into the election system.

Michael Venaccio
19 days ago
Reply to  Larry W.

Take a look at what happened in Maricopa County this last election. The machines went down-20 to 30% of them depending on the source-in predominantly Republican areas. There were long lines but a judge-a D appointed one I am guessing refused to extend the voting hours. Take a look at the questionable ballots from 2020 in AZ and NV and you really cannot blame people for doubting the results. Especially when Ms. Hobb was in charge of election matters. What is wrong with that picture??

Mario Capparuccini
19 days ago

There is no reason that we should not have voter ID laws, in person voting, and absentee ballots only for legitimate reasons like serving abroad in the armed forces or being home bound because of illness. There is no place for mail in ballots. Until we have rigid election integrity, we will not have confidence in our elections.

teresa Ann d'alessandro
19 days ago

the dumos don’t want that – bc they want illegals to vote and they cheat and lie. i agree with you we need ID

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