US Midterm Elections 2018

US Midterm Elections 2018

The blue wave has not arrived

By Souad Sbai

The blue wave has not arrived despite the new commitment confirmed by Hollywood and by the stars of the world of cinema and music who argued against the Trump administration. A tsunami was expected, but as Nancy Pelosi – the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives – says, more than a big wave “there will be many drops of water” that guarantee a 100% victory in the House of Representatives. The counting of votes and seats has been a slow process. At 10 a.m. the main American networks projected a result that is far from the disastrous midterm elections that characterized the previous administrations, including Obama.

218 seats are needed to win control of the House of Representatives. The latest results show Democrats with 221 seats in the House – an absolute majority in the 435-member chamber – compared to 199 for the GOP, with 26 net pickups for the Democrats.

Senate remains in Republican hands. Republicans hold a 51-45 lead over Democrats. In some states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona have not yet finished the vote but the Republicans have already begun to celebrate the victory.
Republicans, on the other hand, flipped four seats in the Senate thus far, including incumbent Joe Donnelly’s seat in Indiana, Bill Nelson’s in Florida, Claire McCaskill’s in Missouri, and Heidi Heitkamp’s in North Dakota. The GOP retained seats in competitive races in Texas and Tennessee. One Republican Senate seat was lost, with incumbent Dean Heller losing to Jacky Rosen in Nevada.

Talking about the election for governors, the result is not much better for the Dems but Italian media insist otherwise and release information about an overwhelming blue wave. With some races still to be called the Democrats had picked up 26 House seats, more than the 23 needed to hand them the majority and end eight years of Republican control.

The candidates for the 2020 elections will be known in the coming weeks but there is a first real result: Democrats fall short as Republicans retain control. The disaster foreseen by Trump and the Republican Party has turned into a kind of referendum on the US administration, that was subjected to a strong vote, confirming the existence of a hard core of fervent supporters of the President that is against a Democratic Party very divided internally and unable to capturing the popular vote and that of the workers, below the percentage expected until yesterday. The partial defeat of the Republicans has turned into an “almost victory”, taking into account especially the decline of the great Dems that were planning to move to Washington DC and, instead, had to stay at home.

The main loser of this election night was Beto O’Rourke, a candidate in pectore wearing the challenger’s shirt for the next presidential election that was defeated in Texas by Ted Cruze. In Florida, Rick Scott Bill has defeated Nelson, Democratic candidate. However, Democrats continue trying to explain the important victory won in the House, emphasizing the new elected representatives, including a young woman, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Alexandria is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She has often talked about her working-class roots in New York City’s Bronx. Alexandria is paying off $20,000 because of the student debt. Now, she represents the young left of the Dem. Voters in Minnesota and Michigan elected the first two Muslim women to serve in the US Congress: Rashida Tlaib (Palestinian-American) and Ilhan Omar who will likely be the first headscarf-wearing member of Congress. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Sharice Davids (LGTB Native American Democrat from Kansas) are “Trump’s worst nightmare”.

Trump shows no signs of concern and less than ever of defeat. He is ready to celebrate a clear victory in the Senate with governors.

However, to read the Italian press gives the impression that an overwhelming democratic hurricane able to overthrow all the American republican systems has taken place.

Instead of sending a message of calm and focusing on the data, some people prefer to focus on the “tension between two Americas” and they condemn Trump to the resounding rejection of voters; a sounding rejection that does not seem to be there.

Elections (those of any country) have taught us that we must be careful before to make judgments on foreign elections and votes. Italians vote with their stomach and it is since the country was born. The rest of the world – probably helped by a fusion of minimalist parties and a restriction of parties – is more likely to participate actively in public affairs, thus blocking the vote in any eventuality.

We are talking even about starting the impeachment against Trump. From my point of view, Trump managed to stay afloat and he could make a reorganization in the Government team and establish the bases for a re-confirmation of the candidacy in the electoral battle that will place next year.


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