The GOP tackles one of the worst midterm election performance in decades by voting to change nothing at the RNC

The GOP tackles one of the worst midterm election performance in decades by voting to change nothing at the RNC
Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel holds a gavel during the RNC's Winter meeting. McDaniel won a fourth term as chair.Jae C. Hong/AP


  • Ronna McDaniel won a fourth term as chair of the Republican National Committee.
  • McDaniel's victory confirms that the GOP is doing little to respond to its disappointing midterm performance.

Republicans elected Ronna McDaniel to remain atop the GOP on Friday, confirming at the highest levels that the party will do little to address one of the most embarrassing midterm performances in decades.


McDaniel won with 111 votes. Her next closest challenger Harmeet Dhillon, one of Trump's private lawyers, received only 51 votes.

It's worth remembering just how disappointing November was for the GOP. On average, the party that doesn't control the White House has picked up between 30 to 25 House seats, as shown by The Washington Post. The GOP netted just 10. Going by historical average performance, Democrats should have lost four US Senate seats. They gained one. Republicans should have picked up an additional four gubernatorial seats. They lost two.

Friday's result confirms that there won't be any shakeups at the party's campaign apparatus after the failure to capitalize on the midterm elections.

That underperformance had many contributors outside the RNC: Trump's handpicked candidates left much to be desired, and the Senate strategy put forward by the National Republican Senatorial Committee did not succeed. Nevertheless, McDaniel saw competition from Dhillon, who pledged to shake up the national party by taking steps like moving the headquarters out of the nation's capital, and Mike Lindell, a pillow salesman who has inexplicably become one of the most recognizable people in Republican politics.

There were bright spots, which McDaniel reminded committee members of before the vote. Republicans nabbed their ultimate prize in Iowa 2022 by knocking off the longest-serving state attorney general in the nation. Now, just one Democrat holds statewide office in a state Barack Obama carried twice.


New York also offered hope. The GOP kicked out the sitting chair of the House Democrats' campaign arm, and Republicans also flipped four House seats in the Empire State.

And, of course, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis emerged as the star of the night, romping to reelection after having just narrowly won four years prior.

DeSantis, who continues to openly flirt with a presidential run, tried to weigh into the chair race at the last minute by calling for McDaniel's ouster without explicitly endorsing any of her potential successors.

The good news for GOP is that they did retake the House, barely. The wounds and frustrations about last November may quickly fade as the GOP finds one of the few things it can agree on: investigating President Joe Biden and his family.

It's also fair to point out that the 2022 midterms took place amidst a historic moment. The fervor after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade was real, as was polling that found Americans were afraid of electing candidates who couldn't accept the results of a previous election.


But at the end of the day, it was the first time since 1934 that an out-of-power party lost both US Senate seats and governor's mansions. Trump was the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose control of both houses of Congress and the White House in a four year span. And the party is searching for a presidential nominee once again.

And Ronna McDaniel will remain the chair to see them through it.