When Republicans stand for the same old, same old, they don’t generate excitement, enthusiasm, or commitment. When they campaign on freedom themes, they do a lot better. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Those searching for an explanation of why there was no “red wave” giving Republicans huge gains in Congress in this year’s midterm election should compare this year’s election with the midterm election of 2010. In 2010, Republicans gained a net 63 House seats. While Republicans then did not gain control of the US Senate, they did gain six Senate seats.
These Republican victories in 2010 were propelled by the Tea Party and the liberty movement. These movements became prominent during the waning days of the Bush administration. The liberty movement was advanced by grassroots supporters of my 2008 presidential campaign. The liberty movement’s focus was, and is, on restoring constitutional government in all areas, ending our interventionist foreign policy, and changing our monetary policy by auditing and ending the Federal Reserve and legalizing alternative currencies. Early on, the Tea Party largely focused on opposition to the 2008 bank bailouts.
There was overlap between the liberty movement and the Tea Party as many members of both groups fought for auditing and ending the Fed, ending bailouts, and preventing Congress from passing Obamacare.
Many Republican candidates in 2010 appealed to Tea Party voters by not just promising to repeal Obamacare. They also promised to work to restore limited, constitutional, fiscally responsible government in all areas. In contrast, in 2022 the average Republican candidate offered little in the way of a substantive agenda. In fact, few Republicans called for reversing President Biden’s massive spending increases, much less for restoring the federal government to its constitutional limitations. Despite the controversy over new critical race theory and transgender related policies in government schools, there has not been a renewed push to shut down the Department of Education.