Campaign in the midterms was favorable to Trump’s interests

On the eve of the mid-term elections in the US, Portuguese analysts recognize that the campaign went well for the Republicans and favors a probable presidential re-election of Donald Trump, with “Trumpism” providing “proof of life”.

“Donald Trump will take advantage of the more than likely victory of the Republicans (at least in the House of Representatives, in state governments and parliaments, and possibly also in the Senate, although in this case still open) to gain balance for the already certain presidential candidacy in 2024,” Germano Silva, an American policy analyst for more than two decades, told Lusa.

For Agostinho Pereira de Miranda, a lawyer and expert in US politics, where he lived for almost a decade, more than favoring Trump, this campaign gave impetus to “Trumpism”, the conservative current among Republicans.

“This campaign proved that “Trumpism” is very much alive and that it will last in American politics, with or without Trump,” Pereira de Miranda told Lusa, recalling the good performance of the Republican Governor of California, Ron DeSantis, “whose re-election is practically assured”.

These two analysts – who will be present on Tuesday night, as experts, at a conference on the North American mid-term elections, at Culturgest, in Lisbon – agree that the political winds are favorable for the Republicans, especially for those who seem most in line with Trump’s line.

Germano Almeida explains that the few “classic” or “moderate” Republicans left in the party, and who tried to stand up to Trump’s more radical line, were pushed aside.

“Let Liz Cheney say it, a key member of the commission investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill attack and who was number three Republicans in Congress: she was crushed in the Wyoming primaries, losing by 37 percentage points to a candidate who venerates Trump, Harriet Hageman”, argued Germano Almeida, author of five books on presidencies in the United States.

Looking at the election campaign that ends today, both analysts also seem to be in agreement about the risks of repeating episodes of contestation of electoral results, such as those fomented by former President Trump, when faced with the presidential victory of Democrat Joe Biden.

“There is a very significant number of Republican candidates who are denialists (they deny that Biden won the last presidential election). It is almost certain that, in the event of a victory by the Democratic opponents by a smaller margin, some of these Republican candidates will contest the result”, he confessed. Pereira de Miranda.

Germano Almeida considers that “Donald Trump opened Pandora’s box in 2020” and recalled that Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson has already said that if he loses to Democrat Mandela Barnes, it will be due to electoral fraud.

“If the Republicans fail to take the Senate – and given the small differences that are anticipated for races in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona or New Hampshire – this is almost inevitable”, defends this analyst, arguing that the style of the “Trumpist” republicans is to “enter the democratic game, but only accept it if you win”.

Germano Almeida argues that the “Trumpists” and “deniers” rulebook has three components that have recently asserted themselves in the political-media ecosystem.

“1) the “fake news” industry, which for adherents of this wing takes the place of the ‘mainstream media’; 2) political violence (in 2015, only 10% of Americans admitted this idea as legitimate, today there will be more than 40 %); 3) contestation of the electoral system and future replacement of elected representatives, so that this same system can be controlled by those who legitimize the coup”, explained this analyst.

Regarding the Democrats’ campaign, the presence at rallies of the current President, Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama is explained by Pereira de Miranda as trump cards for fundraising, “the fuel of electoral campaigns”.

Germano Almeida is more skeptical about the effectiveness of Biden’s presence, although he recognizes that Obama remains “the big star of the Democratic campaign”, where he appeared to recall that, when he was President, he suffered a heavy defeat in the midterm elections, in the first term. , but he was still re-elected two years later.

“The current moment of this administration has made President Biden a problem and not an electoral asset for the Democrats. This explains the delay in Joe Biden’s entry on the campaign stage – although this, in recent days, has increased in intensity” , defended Almeida.

The two analysts recognize that, in the campaign that is now ending, the two parties appeared with very different political agendas, with Republicans pushing for the issue of inflation, crime and immigration, and Democrats preferring social issues, such as the right to abortion or the increase in employment.

“The sentiment of the electorate seems to favor, globally, the Republicans: despite historically low unemployment (3.5%), the Biden administration has not yet managed to generate in the population the feeling that the worst is over”, defended Germano Almeida.

“Themes that could favor Democrats – and where President Biden already has concrete work to show in these almost two years – such as climate, infrastructure, post-covid recovery or helping families and students – are not at the top of the agenda. priorities of this election”, concluded this analyst.

For Agostinho Pereira de Miranda, the big surprise of the campaign was the amount of money spent by both parties.

“According to civic organizations that monitor the phenomenon, this election campaign will cost around US$10 billion (the same amount in euros), an increase of around 150% compared to the 2018 midterm elections,” recalled the lawyer.

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