“Yesterday was such a very Big Win, and all under the pressure of a Nasty and Hostile Media!” Preisdent Trump wrote in an early morning tweet. While detractors have scoffed at the tweet, writing it off to typical Trump bravado, in many ways, he is right. While the GOP lost control of the House — which is almost a given in a president’s first mid-term — it not only retained the Senate but enhanced its grip over that legislative body with as many as five new seats.
Perhaps Trump’s personal success in the midterms is best exemplified by the governor’s race in Florida, in which Republican Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum. Gillum waged a formidable battle, leading in the polls by as many as 7 points two days out from the election. Gillum also had an impressive war chest, raising $52.5 million, including at least $11.5 million from several out-of-state billionaires.
But Trump threw his support behind DeSantis, first helping him win the primary over Florida agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam, who many GOP pundits were convinced would make a much stronger gubernatorial candidate. But the president saw something in DeSantis and made two more campaign appearances in Florida on his behalf. The rest, we now know, is history.
Trump also used his political muscle in Florida to unseat deeply entrenched Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and replacing him with former Gov. Rick Scott, who had maxed out on his term limits.