Trump makes rare admission on the GOP’s lacklustre midterm performance

Former president Donald Trump admitted that Republicans underperformed during last week’s midterm elections when they failed to win many key races or take back the Senate majority.

The former president made the remarks during the announcement of his third presidential campaign in as many election cycles on Tuesday evening at his home at Mar-a-Lago.

Mr Trump highlighted that the Republican Party was projected to win back the majority in the House of Representatives and that candidates he endorsed will head to Congress.

But Republicans also failed to flip the Senate as Democrats held seats in New Hampshire, Nevada and Arizona and flipped a Senate seat in Pennsylvania. Georgia’s Senate race between Senator Raphael Warnock and Mr Trump’s preferred candidate Herschel Walker will go to a runoff on 6 December.

“Much criticism is being placed on the fact that the Republican Party should have done better and frankly, much of this blame is correct,” Mr Trump said. “But the citizens of our country have not yet realised the full extent and gravity of the pain our nation is going through and the total effect of the suffering is just starting to take hold.”

Many of Mr Trump’s preferred Senate candidates – such as Kari Lake in Arizona’s race for governor; Doug Mastriano in Pennnsylvania’s gubernatorial campaign; Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s Senate race; Adam Laxalt in Nevada’s Senate race; and Blake Masters in Arizona’s Senate race – underperformed in the midterm elections, costing Republicans crucial seats.

Earlier in the day, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a former acolyte of Mr Trump’s who is now considered a potential challenger, pointed to how he overwhelmingly won re-election in Florida without the former president’s help.

“I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night,” he said when asked about Mr Trump’s announcement. “And the fact of the matter is, it was the greatest Republican in history of the state of the Florida.”