‘Smashing victories’: Cotton says Republican wins owed to President Trump
As President Donald Trump fights an uphill battle in the courts to snare a second term in the White House, some are praising him for the effect he had down-ballot across the country.
In an interview this week, Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton attributed the GOP’s Election Day success specifically to Trump.
“We had smashing victories in the Senate,” Cotton told Breitbart News. “It was predicted by the media and the Democrats we would lose control of the Senate, perhaps in a landslide. In the House, Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans [were predicted] to lose 10 or 20 seats. They ended up gaining about 15 seats. It’s going to be the narrowest majority of modern times.”
“Then you look at the state legislatures like in Arkansas,” the senator added. “I didn’t think it was possible, but we became even more Republican in Arkansas. We beat two Democratic state senators. We’ve flipped a handful of state legislative chambers. The Democrats – after four years of Eric Holder wasting millions of Democratic donors’ money to try to flip legislatures to gerrymander the House – did not pick up a single legislative chamber.”
“We had all these victories,” Cotton said, “not in spite of Donald Trump, but because of Donald Trump.”
Cotton and the rest of the Senate Republicans must wait a month to learn if they will retain the majority.
Two GOP incumbents – Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler – face run-off elections next month. While some Republicans warn that Trump and his supporters could chase away GOP voters by attacking Georgia’s election system and its Republican governor and secretary of state, Perdue and Loeffler head into the election with considerable momentum.
Perdue received about 88,000 more votes than his Democratic challenger, and Loeffler and fellow Republican Doug Collins got roughly 636,000 more combined votes than her Democratic foe.
In the House, the GOP trailed 232-197 as Election day dawned. As of the moment, the Democrats retain the majority, but lost 10 seats, giving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a four-vote majority, the smallest margin in at least 18 years.
Meanwhile, at the state level, the Republicans flipped the governorship in Montana, captured control of both houses of the legislature in New Hampshire and stood to do the same in Arizona, and padded their lead among elected lawmakers nationwide by 179, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. While the GOP added two “trifectas” – meaning controlling the governor’s office in a state and both houses of its legislature – the Democrats gained no new ground in legislative holdings, the NCSL reported.
“Anyone who suggests that we won the Senate or we won some House seats or we picked up the state legislatures in spite of Donald Trump simply does not understand the kind of movement that he has brought into the Republican Party over the last four years,” Cotton added.