Early results put damper on McCarthy election night party
Dimming prospects for a red wave in the House put a damper on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) midterm election night party early Wednesday morning.
McCarthy, who is hoping to be Speaker in a GOP majority, ventured over from a neighboring House GOP party and took the stage at just before 2 a.m., an hour after the event was originally scheduled to end.
He projected confidence that Republicans will win control of the House as a result of the midterm elections despite no race analysts calling the lower chamber in favor of Republicans.
“When you wake up tomorrow, we will be in the majority and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority,” McCarthy told a crowd of supporters in brief remarks at his election night party in downtown Washington, D.C.
McCarthy said that the House GOP will build on gains from two years ago, when Republicans picked up more than a dozen seats despite projections that there would be Democratic gains, and pointed to seats that Republicans are projected to win in Texas and Virginia.
“It is clear that we are going to take the House back,” McCarthy said.
Earlier in the evening, Republican staff members joked that their earlier predictions had been shattered, based on Democrats in contested races like Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) being projected to win reelection.
McCarthy was joined on stage by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), who is hoping to be House Majority Whip if the GOP wins control of the chamber. Neither one delivered a statement.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) was the only other House GOP member in sight, but was in town not for the election night party but rather in anticipation of a court date on Wednesday regarding a challenge to fines over the House’s pandemic-era mask mandate rule.
Massie has a history of challenging House GOP leadership. But he did not forecast a challenge to McCarthy based on what may be a smaller-than-anticipated majority.
“I was a part of all three coups to take out [former House GOP Speaker] John Boehner,” Massie said. “If there are any coups, I’d probably be invited.”