Zeldin Explains Why Republicans ‘Did Not Earn’ Midterm Red Wave
Former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who attempted to unseat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in the 2022 gubernatorial race, has spoken out about why Republicans “did not earn a red wave nationally” in last year’s midterm elections.
During a speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Zeldin argued that the GOP was not performing enough outreach to areas unless they had a chance to win — pointing out that it is essential to try to win over all voters, not just the ones that automatically agree with the Republican agenda.
“When your high-paid political consultant tells you not to go to a heavily Democratic area, that’s exactly where we need to show up and earn the support of these Democrats. We cannot relinquish the cities, we cannot relinquish the suburbs,” Zeldin said.
“We cannot relinquish anything to the Democrats and if we’re on offense confidently, that will be the path for us to earn a red wave. Because in 2022, we did not earn a red wave nationally. In ‘24, we must [earn a red wave] to save America,” he added.
Zeldin went on to say that Republican candidates need to make a better effort toward engaging with minorities, arguing that the GOP needs to offer proposals to address key issues for these communities such as public safety and education.
“These Democrats are unhappy with the Democratic policies and the Democratic Party as a whole, but they aren’t going to just swing to the Republicans on their own,” he explained. “It’s a bad assumption that we are making. Instead, what we need to do is to show up over and over and over again.”
Many conservative critics have agreed with Zeldin’s point, blaming Republicans for not trying to win over voters that are currently suffering in long-time Democrat strongholds due to radical leftist policies. Clearly, many of these voters are unhappy with the status quo, but they do little to change that other than occasionally electing a different radical leftist candidate every few years — politicians that will never actually change these policies, only implement them differently or provide empty platitudes about the issue while never taking action.
Alongside reaching out to voters, Zeldin has also previously called for the GOP to play by the Democrats’ rules. Instead of continuing to “play fair” while Democrats take advantage of every opportunity presented to them, the former Republican gubernatorial candidate argued that the GOP needs to beat Democrats at their own game — even proposing that Republicans try to participate in ballot harvesting where it is legal.
“Wherever they propose ballot harvesting, totally oppose it. Wherever they pass ballot harvesting, do it so much better than them that they deeply regret ever passing it in the first place,” Zeldin tweeted in November 2022.