Elections in the US: What Are The Possibilities?by Opinion Express November 18, 2018 0 comments
American Presidency might still be a tough task for President Trump’s rivals despite the good showing of the Democrats in the midterm polls
Elections in the United States are a spectacle par excellence. This is equally true for both the anointed Presidency and the Congressional elections. Awareness and deliberations about the US Foreign Policy across the larger international system are everyone’s pet peeve but the scenario in the domestic politics remains a realm which has been investigated to a lesser extent elsewhere. Also, it is a theoretical principle in the discipline of international relations that there lies a continuum between the domesticity of a nation and its larger footprint in the international ecosystem. It is in this twilight zone where the electoral narrative holds sway.
Typically, 218 seats are required for a majority in the US House of Representatives, which has Paul Ryan as the Republican leader and Nancy Pelosi standing forth as the leader of the Democrats in the House.
The related aspersion is that the verdict of the midterm elections has played a substantial role in the firming up of a substratum for the future of President Donald Trump in his next tenure if that transpires at the second-term electoral hustings. In the recently concluded elections, 55 Congressmen didn’t seek re-elections; it makes the midterm outing as significant and decisive in the making of a political consensus for the crucial future and the American Dream.
Several outcomes of the elections are of significance: The Republican and Democratic control the Intelligence, Investigative and Foreign Affairs come through as a key and crucially contextual realm of these midterm elections, but the results have denied them this privilege. The Supreme Court vacancies are up for the grab as the elections have weakened the prerogative of President Trump, especially in the light of the Kavanaugh candidature for the Supreme Court. The Obamacare repeal was defeated by one vote in 2017 and the Bill could get finally erased. In the light of the refugees and undocumented aliens marching on to the US-Mexican border, immigration and President Trump’s eviction oriented policies have come up for scanner with the southern and immigrant oriented populations, all across the United States being real testing grounds for the immigration theme of the Republicans which further found them divided under the White House’s decisions in the context.
It has been witnessed that the House of Representatives has been won over by the Democrats and the Republican Party has retained its majority in the Senate. Still, a great iota of unpredictability was associated with some of the races as the “tug of war” was a very narrow one in them. In the midterm polls of 1994, 2006 and 2010, the parties of the Presidents with dwindling approval ratings lost out but does that hold up as a role model trend, after the Trump inaugural, has been tested as a hypothesis at the November 2018 hustings. The Washington Post and Schar College pointed towards advantage Democrats, where the quotient is bigger for pshephological error as most of the races were very closely fought. It is definitely an acid test for the “Trump surprises” wherein the decision-making and the influence-potential of White House might be up for the asking which gets weakened as Democrats have performed.
Also, on the other hand, going by Democratic candidates such as O’Rourke, apart from the Democratic strongholds, the youngsters, Texans and the Hispanic voters have replicated their inclinations and choices elsewhere also to give Democrats a win in the overall picture, which is far from being picture perfect. The final results point towards better days for the dandy Democrats. Also, now after the midterm polls, Democrats hold 47 seats and the Trump’s gladiators are on the 51 mark in the US Senate. In the House of Representatives, the number 36 is the trick wherein Democrats have improved their tally by 36 votes with their tally reaching the healthy figure of 231. The Republicans have gone down by 36 seats wherein their strength has come down to a measly 198. The Guardian has called it a blue wave. What needs to be relooked by President Trump that though the nation’s economy is roaring and unemployment figures are under control, but still the “America First” Brigade has not done well in the House of Representatives. That demands a re-look by the Republican Party and the issue of environment also has impacted results.
As results have come out, the all important State of Arizona has gone the Democrat way with the leading critique of President Trump, Krysten Sinema, pipping Republican Senator Jeff Flake to the post. The British national daily has called the midterm polls as not a Democrat “Blue wave”, but an affront to the Republican vanguard which resulted in flipping seven stately Governorships. It was only after the Richard Nixon’s Presidency and the Watergate scandal in 1974 that Democrats have performed in such a positive manner in the midterm Congressionals.
The elections in a blitzkrieg manner have obfuscated the Trump Presidency as he will have to combat the Democrats mortally and the Democrats will be numerically emboldened to persist with their investigations on the Trump Administration after the elections. Still, as the Senate majority still rests with President Trump, his Supreme Court, Cabinet and other representatives will continue to sail through for another two years. What surprises is that the Arizona winner compared the immigrant rage to the Iraq war outrage, and her outrage was combated by the Republican candidate on the context of the Democrat candidate opposing the creation of new Air Force bases and weakening the national security objective of Washington exemplified by President Trump.
Still, the core constituency of the Republicans is only rattled and the battle for the next Presidency might still be a tough task for President Trump’s rivals after the good showing of the Democrats in the midterm elections. Some analysts, after the elections, are pointing towards a sub-urban revolt which might have pivoted the Democrats in the midterms.
(The writer teaches International Relations at Indian Institute of Public Administration, Delhi
Writer: Manan Dwivedi
Courtesy: The Pioneer