Did 71 Percent of Trump’s Endorsements Lose in the 2018 Midterms?

This figure may be accurate if limited to people Trump has supported via his Twitter account, but it is not an accurate representation of how his overall list of endorsements fared.

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Claim

Some 71% of Trump-endorsed candidates lost their elections in the 2018 midterms.

Rating

Origin

A popular November 2018 U.S. election night Twitter thread, created by writer and Twitter user Ally Maynard, followed a collection of candidates President Trump had supported on Twitter for the 2018 midterm elections. Each time an endorsed candidate lost, she tweeted a picture of the President’s endorsement of that candidate:

Based on this Twitter thread, the website “Gritpost” did some back-of-the-envelope-calculations to derive a headline claim that “71 Percent of Trump-Endorsed Candidates Lost Their Elections Last Night”:

Twitter user Ally Maynard painstakingly compiled a list of 55 House, Senate, and gubernatorial candidates President Trump either held rallies for or endorsed on Twitter, and found that 39 of them lost, meaning 70.9 percent of candidates President Trump endorsed were defeated.

While this figure might be accurate if limited exclusively to Twitter endorsements (though we have not investigated that approach), the headline claim regarding “71 percent of Trump-endorsed candidates” is false, as it implies that 71 percent of all the candidates President Trump endorsed lost their election bids.

If we consider “House, Senate, and gubernatorial candidates” as the pool of endorsements, Donald Trump issued 93 endorsements of candidates running in U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and gubernatorial races. (This figure does not include endorsements for primary elections or for non-gubernatorial positions in state governments.) Of that endorsement pool, as of 9 November 2018 some 50 candidates had won their election bids, 37 had lost, and six remained in races still too close to call. Conservatively speaking, that means Trump’s endorsements won at least 54% of their races and at most lost 41% of them: a far cry from the 71% the headline suggested.

Below is a list of each of the Congressional and gubernatorial candidates President Trump endorsed, broken down by outcome (Updated 12 November 2018):

Trump-endorsed candidates who won their races (50):

  1. Martha Roby for re-election to U.S. House (Alabama)
  2. Andy Biggs for re-election to U.S. House (Arizona)
  3. Paul Cook for re-election to U.S. House (California)
  4. Devin Nunes for re-election to U.S. House (California)
  5. Kevin McCarthy for re-election to U.S. House (California)
  6. Neal Dunn for re-election to U.S. House (Florida)
  7. Matt Gaetz for re-election to U.S. House (Florida)
  8. Michael Waltz for U.S. House (Florida)
  9. Ted Yoho for re-election to U.S. House (Florida)
  10. Mike Braun for U.S. Senate (Indiana)
  11. Ron Estes for re-election to U.S. House (Kansas)
  12. Andy Barr for re-election to U.S. House (Kentucky)
  13. Clay Higgins for re-election to U.S. House (Louisiana)
  14. Tom Emmer for re-election to U.S. House (Minnesota)
  15. Jim Hagedorn for U.S. House (Minnesota)
  16. Pete Stauber for U.S. House (Minnesota)
  17. Roger Wicker for re-election to U.S. Senate (Mississippi)
  18. Josh Hawley for U.S. Senate (Missouri)
  19. Greg Gianforte for re-election to U.S. House (Montana)
  20. Deb Fischer for re-election to U.S. Senate (Nebraska)
  21. Peter King for re-election to U.S. House (New York)
  22. Tom Reed for re-election to U.S. House (New York)
  23. Lee Zeldin for re-election to U.S. House (New York)
  24. Ted Budd for re-election to U.S. House (North Carolina)
  25. Mark Harris for U.S. House (North Carolina)
  26. Kevin Cramer for U.S. Senate (North Dakota)
  27. Troy Balderson for re-election to U.S. House (Ohio)
  28. Scott Perry for re-election to U.S. House (Pennsylvania)
  29. Lloyd Smucker for re-election to U.S. House (Pennsylvania)
  30. Ralph Norman for re-election to U.S. House (South Carolina)
  31. Marsha Blackburn for Senate (Tennessee)
  32. David Kustoff for re-election to U.S. House (Tennessee)
  33. Ted Cruz for re-election to U.S. Senate (Texas)
  34. Kevin Brady for re-election to U.S. House (Texas)
  35. Mitt Romney for U.S. Senate (Utah)
  36. Denver Riggleman for U.S. House (Virginia)
  37. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for re-election to U.S. House (Washington)
  38. Carol Miller for U.S. House (West Virginia)
  39. Bryan Steil for U.S. House (Wisconsin)
  40. John Barrasso for re-election to U.S. Senate (Wyoming)
  41. Mike Dunleavy for governor (Alaska)
  42. Doug Ducey for re-election as governor (Arizona)
  43. Asa Hutchinson for re-election as governor (Arkansas)
  44. Ron DeSantis for governor (Florida)
  45. Mike DeWine for governor (Ohio)
  46. Kevin Stitt for governor (Oklahoma)
  47. Henry McMaster for governor (South Carolina)
  48. Kristi Noem for governor (South Dakota)
  49. Bill Lee for governor (Tennessee)
  50. Greg Abbott for re-election as governor (Texas)

Trump-endorsed candidates who lost their races (38):

  1. Diane Harkey for U.S. House (California)
  2. Dana Rohrabacher for re-election to U.S. House (California)
  3. Karen Handel for re-election to U.S. House (Georgia)
  4. Randy Hultgren for re-election to U.S. House (Illinois)
  5. Rod Blum for re-election to U.S. House (Iowa)
  6. Kevin Yoder for re-election to U.S. House (Kansas)
  7. John James for U.S. Senate (Michigan)
  8. Lena Epstein for U.S. House (Michigan)
  9. Karin Housley for U.S. Senate (Minnesota)
  10. Dave Hughes for U.S. House (Minnesota)
  11. Jason Lewis for re-election to U.S. House (Minnesota)
  12. Erik Paulsen for re-election to U.S. House (Minnesota)
  13. Matt Rosendale for U.S. Senate (Montana)
  14. Dean Heller for re-election to U.S. Senate (Nevada)
  15. Danny Tarkanian for U.S. House (Nevada)
  16. Bob Hugin for U.S. Senate (New Jersey)
  17. Jay Webber for U.S. House (New Jersey)
  18. Dan Donovan for re-election to U.S. House (New York)
  19. John Faso for re-election to U.S. House (New York)
  20. Jim Renacci for U.S. Senate (Ohio)
  21. Lou Barletta for U.S. Senate (Pennsylvania)
  22. John Chrin for U.S. House (Pennsylvania)
  23. Keith Rothfus for re-election to U.S. House (Pennsylvania)
  24. Katie Arrington for U.S. House (South Carolina)
  25. Pete Sessions for re-election to U.S. House (Texas)
  26. Dave Brat for re-election to U.S. House (Virginia)
  27. Patrick Morrisey for U.S. Senate (West Virginia)
  28. Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate (Wisconsin)
  29. John Cox for governor (California)
  30. Walker Stapleton for governor (Colorado)
  31. Bob Stefanowski for governor (Connecticut)
  32. Kris Kobach for governor (Kansas)
  33. Bill Schuette for governor (Michigan)
  34. Jeff Johnson for governor (Minnesota)
  35. Adam Laxalt for governor (Nevada)
  36. Scott Wagner for governor (Pennsylvania) 
  37. Scott Walker for re-election as governor (Wisconsin)
  38. Martha McSally for U.S. Senate (Arizona)

Trump endorsed candidates whose races have not yet been called (5):

  1. Rick Scott for U.S. Senate (Florida)
  2. Bruce Poliquin for re-election to U.S. House (Maine)
  3. Cindy Hyde-Smith for U.S. Senate (Mississippi)
  4. Brian Kemp for governor (Georgia)
  5. Claudia Tenney for re-election to U.S. House (New York)
Updates
  1. Correction [12 November 2018]: An earlier version of this post omitted Trump's endorsement of Scott Wagner (PA Governor), and incorrectly listed Jay Webber (NJ-11) as winning his race.
  2. Update [12 November 2018]: Updated with new information.
Sources
  • Cahil, Tom.   “71 Percent of Trump-Endorsed Candidates Lost Their Elections Last Night.”
        Gritpost.   7 November 2018.

  • The New York Times.   “Senate Election Results: Republicans Keep Majority.”
        Accessed 9 November 2018.

  • The New York Times.   “House Election Results: Democrats Take Control.”
        Accessed 9 November 2018.

  • The New York Times.   “Governor Election Results: Democrats Retake Several States.”
        Accessed 9 November 2018.

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