Wall Street Journal editorial calls Trump's 'red wave' an 'illusion'

Wall Street Journal editorial calls Trump's 'red wave' an 'illusion'

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board warned Wednesday that this week's primary and special election results portend an ominous outcome for Republicans in November, despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's predictions of a "red wave."

"Our sense is that Republican voters haven’t recognized how much jeopardy the party is in. Many are content to listen only to their safe media spaces that repeat illusions about a 'red wave' and invoke 2016 when the media said Mr. Trump couldn’t win," the newspaper wrote in an op-ed.

"But that’s not an excuse for ignoring the evidence of GOP trouble," the editorial board added. "Mr. Trump barely won in 2016 against the weakest Democratic candidate since Michael Dukakis, and Hillary isn’t on the ballot this year."

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Trump and other Republicans claimed victory on Tuesday night in a hotly contested special election in Ohio's 12th Congressional District, even though the race officially remains too close to call.

Even if Republican Troy Balderson holds on to win the seat, numerous pundits, reporters and even some lawmakers noted that the close result is problematic in a district that Republicans have reliably held for decades. The race also continued a yearlong trend of Democrats over-performing in a number of state and national races.

Despite that caveat, Trump took to Twitter to celebrate Tuesday's results and take credit for GOP electoral success.

He claimed candidates he endorsed in Tuesday's primaries went "5 for 5," even as two races remained too close to call. 

"As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win!" Trump tweeted.

He added that if he is able to "find the time" to continue campaigning "we will have a giant Red Wave!"

However, the Journal questioned in Wednesday's op-ed whether making the upcoming midterm a referendum on Trump is the best strategy for Republicans, who are trying to fend off Democratic efforts to retake the House and Senate.

"The President’s persona is trumping positive policy results among voters, and without some intervening news or a change in strategy the result is likely to be a national left turn," the editorial board wrote.