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Discussion > US Mid Term Elections

US Mid Term Elections
Here is the Sydney Morning Herald's take:-

Rebuke but not rejection gives Trump hope for a second term

New York: The US midterm elections should deliver a blaring wake-up call to both Donald Trump and to the Democrat Party.

The question is whether either Trump or his political opponents posses the self reflection required to turn the results into a springboard to victory at the 2020 presidential election.

Firstly, the president. While Trump will try to focus on the Republicans' strong performance in the Senate, there is no escaping the fact that voters have delivered a harsh verdict on his first two years in office.

An attendee wears an American flag themed shirt during an election night rally for Rick Scott, winning Republican governor of Florida.
An attendee wears an American flag themed shirt during an election night rally for Rick Scott, winning Republican governor of Florida.CREDIT:BLOOMBERG

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for re-election and the Democrats will claim a strong majority there. That's despite the fact the economy has been booming and the country essentially at peace under unified Republican rule.

For many voters – especially those in the affluent, suburban areas where moderate Republicans used to dominate – this election was about Trump's character. Female voters in particular recoiled at what they saw as his propensity for bullying, lying, and inflaming divisions rather than acting as a unifier.

Democrats retake House majority, but will go backwards in Senate
Democrats retake House majority, but will go backwards in Senate
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Trump is the first US president since at least World War II who has never had an approval rating of over 50 per cent.

Democrats picked up seats in traditionally "blue"(Democrat) states such as New York and New Jersey, but they also made gains in Midwestern states like Pennsylvania and Iowa that turned to Trump in 2016.

The lesson for Trump is that elections are not all about his base.
Although it is often said how polarised the US is today, approximately 40 per cent of Americans identify as independents – more than describe themselves as either Democrats or Republicans.

It came from DC: invasion of the Trump effect
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Many of these swinging voters liked the idea of a populist businessman in the White House and were crucial to Trump's 2016 victory.

But they wish he would lay off the tweeting and aren't convinced his policies, like last year's tax cuts, are necessarily making their lives better. He needs to do more to connect with these voters; not just bask in the adoration of his rusted-on supporters.

Then the Democrats. Progressives underestimated Trump in 2016 and many still do. They simply can't fathom how anyone could vote for a man they consider an unhinged bigot.

But these elections showed Trump remains a masterful campaigner, capable of driving Republicans to the polls and dictating the national conversation.

This election was a rebuke, but by no means a wholesale rejection of Trumpism.

Trump's fixation on the caravan of central American migrants, while at times distasteful, resonated with voters who loathe the idea of open borders.

Republicans picked up a handful of Senate seats and Trump-style candidates won governorships in Florida and Georgia despite facing energetic Democrat challengers there. The promised surge in turnout among young and racially diverse voters was not enough to turn these states Democratic – a worrying sign for the party in the future.

It's worth remembering that Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton all suffered big House defeats at their first midterm elections. Then they went on to win a second term in office.

With the Democrats yet to coalesce around a winning strategy for 2020, it's not hard to imagine Trump doing exactly the same thing.

Nov 7, 2018 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterdouglas

I suspect that the Democrats not having a leading candidate overtly insulting opponents in the MSM made a big difference and allowed reversion to some provincial tribalism....

Nov 7, 2018 at 11:52 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Tomo why not rewrite your line
"I suspect that the Democrats not having a leading candidate overtly insulting opponents in the MSM made a big difference"
"I suspect that the Republicans having a leading candidate overtly insulting opponents in the MSM made a big difference"

Nov 7, 2018 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll



yeah - but the US media don't vote do they? - they'd like to think that they control voters ....

Hilary was directly insulting people using the compliant media as a magaphone (the typo stays)

Nov 7, 2018 at 2:41 PM | Registered Commentertomo

It’s a win for Trump anyway ... it's given him his American Excuse Card

2020 “So Trump why no wall, why no abortion law ..why didn’t you ?”
… Ans “Cos of those the nasty blockers in Congress vote me in again in 2020”

Nov 7, 2018 at 9:53 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

It is a good excuse for Trump.
But I bet he would rather be planning for achievements, rather than apologies for failures.
Why win a second term and fail? Even if you have an excuse for your failure?

This election was a tie. The will of the Founding Fathers was done. The checks and balances are back.
But the ability to appoint people is still Trump's. Even more so than before.

Personality politics are now his strong suit. This looks like a bad idea, to me.

Nov 7, 2018 at 10:43 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

No he'd hope to get back control of both houses during his second term

Nov 7, 2018 at 11:12 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Nov 7, 2018 at 10:43 PM | M Courtney

Agreed! The last 3 years of US Politics have not set a very good example for the next 2, and the next 2 are going to get worse. If the US Economy continues to improve, the Democrats will have to keep up the war of personalities, as they seem to have given up on policies.

Trump's ego will not allow him to retire, and it would take a Republican with an even bigger ego to oppose him (at the moment)

Nov 7, 2018 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I suspect that the Russia collusion thing might just get turned upside down with the removal of "Sleepy Sessions" and a more proactive approach to dealing with the abuse of Federal agencies wrt to political warfare... DJT has notably held off going after his tormentors (beyond bandying words with the likes of CNN) and I think that likely won't change - but we might well see the emergence of a far more robust approach to the wayward spooks and the likes of Loretta Lynch.

I do hope that Obamah's weaponising of the tax system to go after political adversaries comes back to bite him.

Americans seem to have an appetite for political dynasties - 2020 - Mrs Obamah vs. Don Jnr, ? - both of them seem to have ambitions....

Nov 8, 2018 at 12:00 AM | Registered Commentertomo

I've been reading about the Stuarts. Somehow I doubt that we'll forge anything as nice out of our dysfunction as you did out of yours.

Nov 8, 2018 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Generally, these seem like fairly typical results for US mid-term elections, with one or two interesting individual stories thrown in. Most incumbent-President parties can expect to lose mid-term seats in the house. It's like UK by-elections in marginal seats. That the republicans did not lose a huge amount, and actually strengthened their hold on the Senate does seem like a better-than-might-be-expected result to me. Especially as there is a reasonable chance that the Supreme Court might well lose Judge Ginsburg in the next two years. That thought is probably giving a lot of Democrats sleepless nights.

A lot of the legacy media commentary is just that-commentary by people who are paid to comment, and legacy media outlets that need Trump click-bait to keep afloat financially. They'd be in worse trouble if Trump wasn't there, something they will have to face anyway in 2 or 6 years. That is their other nightmare. It's a situation that could have been invented by Oscar Wilde.

Nov 8, 2018 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Democrats and their devoted media could be guilty of Incitement, Hate Crimes, Discrimination etc.

Nov 8, 2018 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie. "Democrats and their devoted media could be guilty of Incitement, Hate Crimes, Discrimination etc."
You must be joking!!!!! Did you listen to Trump's rally speeches?
Anyway, it's someone else's fight and problem.

Nov 8, 2018 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Did you listen to Trump's rally speeches?
Yes, Minty, I did – and not the heavily edited versions the BBC gives us, but the full Monty – and, no, the incitement, hate crimes and discrimination are not as apparent as the BBC might tell you. His preferred pronoun is “we” (and not the royal one, either), and he talks about Americans, with no reference to ethnic origins or heritage, and the need to defend their country against invading forces and hard trade. I found he talks of unity and strength, and of restoring the belief in their own country that has been seriously battered out of them – as it has been out of we British.

Nov 22, 2018 at 3:10 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent