USA: a highly divided nation goes to vote
BSSB.BE 9news.com.au 6/11//2018
* A Day of Midterms Mark Levin Exposes What’s At Stake Ahead Of The Elections
Donald Trump is no stranger to self-praise.
The US president drew laughs at the United Nations last month when declaring “in less than two years my administration has accomplished more than almost any other administration in the history of our country”.
- On Tuesday, Americans will deliver their own verdict.
- “I want you to vote, pretend I’m on the ballot.” (EPA )
- The midterm elections are a quirk of the US system, falling midway through the presidential term – but Donald Trump won’t be on the ballot.
Instead all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 Senate seats will be up for grabs.
“I’m not on the ticket, but I am on the ticket,” Mr Trump told supporters in Mississippi.
“Because this is also a referendum about me.
“I want you to vote, pretend I’m on the ballot.”
The president has been campaigning like his presidency depends on it, and in many ways it does.
“I’m not on the ticket, but I am on the ticket,” Mr Trump told supporters in Mississippi. (EPA )
Currently the Republicans (Donald Trump’s party) have a majority in the House and Senate – it makes governing far easier.
But that could all change this week.
The Democrats are bullish on their chances, particularly in the House where they would need to take 25 seats off the Republicans.
Currently, of the 66 most competitive races, 60 of them are in Republican held seats.
It leaves the Republicans vulnerable and the president exposed.
If the Democrats flip the house, and the polls suggest they will, they will have the ability to block legislation from the White House and gain new powers to investigate.
The midterm elections: What you need to know
In addition a Democrat would be elevated to the Speaker’s role – the third highest in America.
“Up until today I would have said if the election were held today we would win,” Democratic leader and former speaker Nancy Pelosi told Stephen Colbert this week.
“What now I’m saying is we will win.
“Democrats will carry the House, if we have a bigger victory the Senate.
“It’s going to be a great night for America.”
It might have been bravado, and it’s certainly tempting fate.
Hillary Clinton enjoyed a similar lead in the polls prior to the 2016 election.
Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters next to his wife Casey and the US President Donald J. Trump. (EPA)
In the Senate the Republicans are expecting a better night.
US Senators serve six-year terms, meaning only a third of the 100 senators are up for re-election (plus two special elections).
Of those 35, Democrats currently hold 26 and some are in states Donald Trump won two years ago.
- “It’s a terrible (election) map, but a wonderful environment,” Democrats are fond of saying.
- If the Democrats take both Houses, it opens the door to impeaching the president and even removing him from office (although that would be highly unlikely).
- The more likely scenario is the Republicans lose control of the House and yet build a bigger majority in the Senate.
It would be a result indicative of a highly divided nation.
“What now I’m saying is we will win,” Democratic leader and former speaker Nancy Pelosi said. (AP)
The president is looking increasingly desperate and stoking these divisions, particularly on immigration, in the lead up to the polls.
An “us against them” mentality has entrenched itself on both sides.
“If you don’t live on the West Coast or the East Coast, everyone else believes in what President Trump has done and he’s doing what we believe in,” a Trump supporter named Jeanie told me in Missouri on Thursday.
It was at one of a dozen rallies the president is doing in the lead up to Tuesday.
Across the country Barack Obama has re-emerged to lead the campaign for the Democrats.
The 44th President is familiar with midterm elections – back in 2010 Republicans seized control of the House.
- It was a similar story in 1994 when Bill Clinton faced his first midterms.
- It leaves Donald Trump looking to defy history, the polls and an enthusiastic Democratic Party.
If Republicans buck the trend and keep control of the House and Senate, the president will emerge with more power and a stronger mandate to implement his own agenda.
It would also spook a whole generation of Democratic hopefuls currently eying their own run from president in two years’ time.
Midterms are often considered dull affairs, but not this year.
The nation votes on Tuesday, the implications for this fractured nation are huge.
- The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: 9news.com.au