By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Over the next few days, you’re going to hear a lot of spin about what happened in the midterm elections. But here’s the truth: it should have been a moment of triumph for the Trump White House.

Check: Live Election Results

It’s become routine for the party in power to lose seats in Congress during a midterm election. But rarely have we held one of these during an economic boom as robust as the one we’re experiencing. In addition to unemployment at a 50-year low, wages are rising and 401ks are flush. We have not become engaged in any new foreign wars, and there have been no successful cases of foreign terrorism. In circumstances like this, President Trump should have been the toast of the nation Tuesday night.

President Donald Trump speaks during a “Make America Great Again” campaign rally in Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 4, 2018. (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Instead, he and his party got toasted, losing control of the House and suffering serious setbacks at the state level. The president’s decision to make his closing message a harsh rant about immigration instead of touting economic success as his advisors wanted seemed to backfire badly among some of the same voter groups he and his party will need to win over two years from now.

So what went wrong?

As we’ve seen from day one, the president’s fatal political flaw isn’t the conservative fiscal and foreign policies he pursues. Those may be debatable, but as long as peace and prosperity are the results, voters will approve. The problem is his ego, his indifference to manners and moderation, his inability to learn on the job and grow beyond 2016 campaign mode.

Tuesday was a referendum on the president, and the “no” side won. And he has absolutely no one to blame but himself.

Share your analysis with me via email at, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Jon Keller


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