why the US election is a disappointment to Trump

Donald Trump

Trump Expected a Republican Wave, But Found a Wave

Before a crowd of supporters in Ohio earlier this week, former US President Donald Trump made a promise: a “big announcement” on November 15.

The date, it was believed, would be exactly a week after a predicted “red wave” of Republican midterm election victories, which many observers interpreted as a litmus test of his influence over the party.

The wave, however, broke like a ripple. Trump’s announcement – likely introducing his name for the 2024 presidential race – is expected to come after an election in which many of the candidates he has endorsed have underperformed, which is likely to deepen questions about the viability of the “Make America” ​​brand. Great Again” as a permanent fixture of US conservatism.

Perhaps most worrisome for the former president was the resounding success at the polls of Florida governor – and potential 2024 rival – Ron DeSantis, who won re-election with significant improvements across all walks of life – including women and Latinos – while his tensions with Trump escalated.

But after all, so far, how was the night of the midterm elections for Trump and what should the result mean for his political future?

All eyes on Ron DeSantis

As Republican candidates across the country faced unexpectedly close contests, DeSantis, 44, won a landslide nearly 20-point victory over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, including a clear majority among Latino voters.

Four years ago, by comparison, he won the Florida governorship by less than half a percentage point.

The victory will further fuel speculation of a possible presidential race in 2024 with the presence of this politician, who has been dubbed by American analysts as “Trump with substance” or “Trump 2.0”.

At his victory party in Tampa on Tuesday night (8/11), his supporters chanted “two more years!” – in clear reference to the desire that he leave Florida in 2024 to run for the White House.

Among those who now see DeSantis as a stronger candidate for the White House than Trump is Mike Cernovich, a right-wing commentator who has been described by Politico as a “tireless Trump supporter”.

“Trump has zero chance in 2024 overall. After tonight, that’s not in question,” Cernovich tweeted Tuesday night. “DeSantis in 2024 or accept total defeat”.

The prospect of taking on DeSantis in two years has not gone unnoticed by Trump, who has warned that DeSantis “could get hurt a lot” and that he would reveal “things about him that wouldn’t be very flattering.”

In an interview with the BBC, Patrick Ruffini, a Republican researcher and strategist, described Trump as a “wounded animal”.

Also on Twitter, on Wednesday morning, former Trump spokesman and Gettr CEO Jason Miller came out in defense of his former boss, given the results.

“As for my former boss, President Trump, he’s still the leader of the GOP, and there were a lot of positive signs in Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia last night, the three states he needs to win in 2024.”

Trump’s Endorsements Bundle – And Its Controversial Results

Ahead of the midterm elections, Trump has endorsed dozens of candidates for Congress, as well as others running for governors and state representatives.

While the final results of the election are still unclear — and may remain elusive for some time — it is increasingly clear that Trump’s results were mixed at best.

Of the prominent Senate candidates he endorsed, for example, only one — Ohio Republican JD Vance — won a clear victory, beating Democratic Representative Tim Ryan.

Other Trump-endorsed candidates, including Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz and Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Nixon, lost, while the results of several other races have yet to be totaled.

“This morning I called John Fetterman and congratulated him. I wish him and his family all the best, both personally and as our next United States Senator. Campaigning across our region has been the honor of a lifetime, and I will take it with me the memories and the people I met,” Oz said in a statement in which he conceded defeat without citing any kind of electoral fraud, as has become customary among Trumpists.

Ahead of the election, John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Brookings Institution, said the defeats of Trump-endorsed candidates could “raise doubts about his political acumen” among potential supporters or undecided voters.

So far, Trump has ruled out that he can be held responsible for the defeats of his candidates. On his Truth Social network, the former president praised a “big night” for his candidates and boasted that 174 of their names won, compared to just 9 losses.

On election night, he also said he should “take full credit” for his victories and “not be blamed” for his defeats.

Still, some have already begun to blame Trump for the results, in a process that should not end there.

With low popularity and inflation at around 8% a year, far from the 2% target, the Biden administration already expected to lose control of both the House and Senate in the midterm elections.

Historically, the president is punished by voters in this election – this is what happened in 36 of the 39 midterm elections.

The Republicans’ margin of victory in the House, however, has turned out to be much thinner than anticipated. And in the Senate it is possible that Democrats will retain their narrow majority.

A good side?

Trump may still have some reason to be pleased with Tuesday’s results.

Chief among them is the fact that a Republican-controlled House of Representatives — the most likely outcome — could dismantle the committee investigating the January 6, 2021 riot, which has long sought to connect Trump to the Capitol invasion.

The committee recently issued a legal subpoena ordering Trump to testify by November 14, the day before his “big announcement.”

“That will likely be dismantled,” said Grant Reeher, a professor of political science at Syracuse University, referring to the investigative committee.

Furthermore, the election has elected dozens of Biden deniers in the 2020 election to congressional or state seats, meaning Trump can count on a significant bloc of political allies who believe – or say they believe – that he was the legitimate winner of the previous presidential election.

Capitol Invasion on January 6

House under Republican control must dismantle investigative committee on Capitol Invasion

Polls also show that Trump remains popular with vast swaths of the Republican voter base, a fact that any potential candidate – whether DeSantis or another high-profile Republican – will have to face if they hope to replace him as the party’s favorite candidate for the House. White.

“Someone looking to replace Trump at the top of the GOP cannot pretend that Trump is not there. Trump is a huge personality who makes every contest a battle of personalities,” wrote David Frum, an editor at The Atlantic who worked in the government of the Republican Party. former President George W. Bush.

“Refusing to play the game is not an option, because he’s going to play, whether he likes it or not. There’s no choice but to play too.”

* With Mariana Sanches, from Washington

– This text was published in https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/internacional-63576192

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