By Terri Wu
WASHINGTON—The reason for the Republicans’ lackluster performance in the midterm House races came down to each individual candidate, according to Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.).
“Each candidate is responsible for their own campaign: their staff, the promises they make, and everything down to the color of their yard signs,” the congressman told The Epoch Times in an email.
“Whatever happens is on the candidate,” he added. Burchett didn’t think that former President Donald Trump or House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy should bear the primary responsibility for the lack of a “red wave” during the midterms.
In addition, he said the Republicans should focus on “governing” in the upcoming Congress. “We need to stick to our Commitment to America and bring legislation to the floor that enacts real changes to help Americans—not just giant spending packages and feel-good bills,” Burchett said referring to the name of the House GOP’s legislative agenda.
Last week, Burchett won reelection in Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District in the Knoxville metropolitan area by 35 points. The Cook Partisan Voter Index ranked his District at R+18, meaning that Republicans in this area had an 18 percent margin above the national average in the past two presidential elections.
During a Nov. 11 midterms debrief by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter analyzing elections, senior editor David Wasserman told reporters: “Republicans are currently leading in the popular vote nationally for the House by 5.7 points on our vote tracker. Yet, the House has still not been called for the Republicans.” He attributed this “anomaly” scenario to Democrats doing well with independent suburban voters.
The Republicans are currently one seat away from claiming a majority in the House. They are projected to take over the chamber with a single-digit edge.
“A win is a win,” a senior congressional staffer told The Epoch Times on condition of anonymity. If Republicans ended up taking over the House as projected after all votes were counted, he said he would feel good about it.
While the popular vote was clearly on the side of Republicans, he said that this point, in itself, didn’t necessarily mean Republicans would gain the majority in the House.
“People forget that it is not a nationwide election; this is a contest of congressional districts,” he said, adding that the presidential election isn’t decided on the popular vote, either.