“Actually, this should be a complete run for Republicans.”

"Actually, this should be a complete run for Republicans."

Midterm elections are always a disaster for incumbent presidents. However, it promises to be extraordinarily exciting in the upcoming midterm elections. How did this happen?

Midterms are not supposed to be exciting. It is almost a tradition in the United States that the party of the incumbent president loses in the first midterm elections. Only two presidents have managed to win so far: Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Recession of 1934, and George W. Bush Jr in 2002 after the September 11 attacks.

Therefore, it is remarkable that this midterm election is exciting at all. Currently, the Democrats have a very narrow majority in the House of Representatives (220 out of 435 seats). Both Democrats and Republicans hold 50 seats in the Senate, giving Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris the vote. “In fact, this should be a complete run for Republicans,” says US expert Paul Verhagen of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies. There is inflation, the economy is slow, and Biden is very unpopular as president. However, Democrats and Republicans are volatile in many polls.

Not being able to pay your bills this month is a bigger problem for many Americans than the idea that you may not be able to have an abortion a year from now.” Paul Verhagen, The Hague Center for Strategic Studies

The fact that Democrats still have a chance not to lose has to do with political developments last summer. Even then, Republicans had the wind in their sails: the economy faltered, and Biden had little success in politics. But then, in June, the US Supreme Court ruled to overturn the constitutional right to abortion. In August, there was a search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, which revealed that the former president had snatched nuclear documents.

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It is difficult to gauge whether those events of months ago will remain relevant to voters. “Elections are not an answer to one question,” Verhagen says. In a sense, politics is about what the question is. Americans who attach special importance to social issues like abortion tend to vote Democrats. Americans who look primarily at the economy vote mainly for Republicans. Republicans in general have an advantage in this respect. “If you can’t pay your bills at the end of the month, that’s an imminent problem,” Verhagen says. “It’s a bigger problem for many Americans than the idea that within a year you might not be able to have an abortion.”

stop the theft

The midterm elections are the first major confrontation since the 2020 presidential election. Former President Donald Trump continues to assert to this day that those elections were fraudulent. Several Republican candidates, hoping to win Trump’s support in the primaries, are showing enthusiastic supporters of The Big theft (The Great Theft): The conspiracy theory that Donald Trump is still the legitimate president of the United States. “This midterm election is about American democracy itself,” Verhagen says. It will be a big test: Is this a strategy that can win the election? If this narrative succeeds, it will become an electoral strategy for the Republican Party for the next ten years.”

The outcome of the upcoming midterm elections will also determine how far Donald Trump will control the Republican Party. While Trump was very popular with (a large portion of) Republican voters, many Republican lawmakers secretly hated his style. But Trump is gradually succeeding in gaining his supporters in both parliaments. “Trump is particularly influential during the primaries,” Verhagen says. He has a very active voter base, which often made him the deciding factor in selecting the Republican candidate for the Senate. This is a huge problem for the Republican Party, because Trump has always fielded incredibly weak candidates. As a result, there is a possibility that Republicans will lose the election and win a “normal” candidate.

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Even by cabaret standards of American politics, Trump has rounded up some very high-profile candidates. In Pennsylvania, there is a TV Doctor, Mehmet Oz. In Georgia, Trump brought in Herschel Walker, a former soccer star who claimed he couldn’t even spell the word “political.” Walker, who as a black candidate was highly critical of black parents who had deserted their families, was found to have several illegitimate children for whom he refused to pay alimony. In Ohio, Trump chose JD Vance, a venture capitalist whose memoir was turned into a movie on Netflix. Vance, once a passionate opponent of Trump, presents himself today as one of his greatest supporters. “He’s licking my ass,” Trump smiled recently at a campaign rally. “He really needs my support.”

2 busy months

So the battle for the Senate is exciting, but the inevitable outcome seems to be that the Republicans will once again form a majority in the House of Representatives. This would make it more difficult for Biden to push policy. “If the Republicans get a majority in the House, they will use it to block Biden’s policies,” Verhagen said. Like Obama, Biden must respond with a presidential order.

Republicans are not short of sound ambitions. They have already announced that they will cancel the January 6 commission, which investigated Trump’s role in the failed invasion of the Capitol. Republicans are also determined to create the Hunter Biden Commission to investigate whether President Biden’s son committed business fraud in Ukraine and China. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, also said that US support for Ukraine may be under discussion. In addition, the Republican Party with a majority would undoubtedly be inclined to initiate impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden in order to mollify Trump’s base.

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If the Republicans gain a majority in the Senate and/or the House, they are expected to be two busy months in Washington. “The new convention won’t be sworn in until January,” Verhagen says. “If the Democrats know they are losing their majority, they will soon pass some new laws. This is the remarkable thing about the American system: politicians hardly have time to make policy, because they are in an election cycle every two years. So every two years you lose nearly a whole year, because it’s not It is common for concessions to be made during the campaign period, but in the past two months before a new majority takes office, a lot has suddenly become possible.

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