Why did the “Trump wave” fail to emerge?

  Following the general election two years ago, on November 8 local time, the US mid-term election once again ushered in an “election day without results”.
  In the election of the House and Senate, which are the most watched by the outside world, the final result of the Senate was dragged into an “overtime” on December 6 because the candidates of both parties in Georgia were unable to obtain more than half of the votes. Victories in Nevada and Arizona secured the “Senate majority” ahead of schedule with 50 seats. In the House of Representatives, the Republican Party has a high probability of winning a majority of seats, but it is extremely difficult to win.
  On the whole, this US mid-term election did not see the Republican “red wave” expected by some people, while the Democratic Party exceeded expectations. On November 9, while the counting of votes in many places was still in progress, US President Biden “celebrated” early and high-profile. In his speech specifically on the midterm elections, he said that the election day of the midterm elections “is a good day for democracy.”
  Faced with the fact that the government is about to form a “lame state of divided government and congress” with Congress, Biden also extended an “olive branch” to the Republican Party: “No matter what the election result is, I am ready to cooperate with Republican colleagues.” Biden said, American voters have made it clear they want Republicans ready to “work with me” too.
Failed to set off a “red wave”

  Observing the entire mid-term election, the two parties’ attention to election issues was almost completely “misplaced” at the beginning. Instead of providing voters with different solutions to a certain core issue, they chose to draw lines with different issues and stand on opposite sides of each other. .
  Due to economic setbacks, the “Roe v. Wade case” was overturned in May this year, coupled with a series of school shootings, the Democratic Party finally found the focus of the mid-term elections, and took advantage of the “Capitol Hill riots” The “hidden line” planted, took advantage of the opportunity to launch the campaign combination of “abortion + democracy + gun control”. This campaign strategy once shined brilliantly, making the Democratic Party achieve a certain degree of “reversal” in the Senate election.
  But after entering September, the Democratic Party encountered no small challenges. On the one hand, the limitations of the influence of abortion issues and democratic issues are gradually emerging; on the other hand, the Democratic Party’s selective neglect of economic issues has brought great uncertainty to the overall strategy. Therefore, with the emergence of new domestic problems and conflicts such as the economic downturn in October, the Democratic Party’s earlier strategies may be outdated.
  The Republican Party’s “bottom-up, point-to-point” strategy in this mid-term election has achieved certain results, but the lack of “core motivation” is one of the reasons why it failed to set off a “red wave”. The key point of the Republican Party’s strategic layout is the economy, and it focuses on the feelings of ordinary people at the bottom, launching a fierce attack on the Biden administration’s economic policies and governance plans. The Republican Party has also strengthened its layout in areas such as education, crime, drugs, and border security, and raised the heat of related issues with the vital interests of the general public.
  To a certain extent, this strategy has turned passive into active, diluting the Democratic Party’s menacing attacks on democratic issues, and also to a certain extent weakened the damage of abortion issues to the Republican Party. Although recovering some of the electoral advantages taken away by the Democrats in the second quarter of this year, the Republican Party has always been difficult to break through its own limitations. It has adopted an evasive stance on the important issue of abortion, and has failed to discover the core motivation that can deal a fatal blow to the Democratic Party.
  With the situation in the House of Representatives basically fixed, in order to gain as many seats as possible in the Senate, the campaign strategies of the two parties were highly misaligned in focusing on issues most of the time, but in the final stage there was a state of achieving the same goal by different routes, turning the “grand strategy” into It is a “small plan” that focuses on practical issues such as social stability, welfare security, and medical care that are closely related to people’s livelihood, and increases investment in the “focus of competition” such as electors for key seats in swing states, bringing the election to the final climax of the decisive battle.
  Judging from the current results, the Democratic Party has relatively successfully defined this election as a choice between democracy and the extremism represented by former President Trump, mobilizing the enthusiasm of middle voters and causing Trump to become the Republican Party’s “popular” in some constituencies. Negative equity”. The Democratic Party has pushed Trump and his supporters to the opposite of democracy, calling on voters to reject “MAGA (Make America Great Again) Republicans”, and turning the midterm elections from a popular referendum on the Biden administration to a bipartisan party with different ideas and lines choose between. Economic issues are of course important, but the “quality” of the candidates themselves is also important. Many voters may not like the Democratic Party, but they hate the “extremist” Trump and his “spokesperson” even more.
The discounted “Trump effect”

  Putting aside the campaign issues themselves, the “Trump effect” has also become a hot topic in this midterm election. Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, but his figure has not disappeared from American politics. Whether it is the investigation surrounding the “Capitol Hill Riot Incident” on January 6, 2021, or the fermentation of the “Sea Lake Manor Search Incident”, Trump has become the focus of attention. Trump also actively participated in the campaign of endorsing Republican candidates, helping the majority ride the waves in the party’s primary elections, but did not perform well in the two-party runoff.
  This mid-term election is not only a referendum on the ruling party, but also a poll on Trump. During the mid-term elections, the Republican Party increased its bond with Trump, trying to use Trump’s political energy to strengthen its electoral advantage. Trump’s “king-making effect” in the mid-term elections helped the Republican Party expand its favorable position in red states, battleground states, and swing states through conservative forces, and the “Mar-a-Lago Search Incident” created a certain “flagging rally” within the Republican Party. effect” and also brought a lot of political contributions to the Republican Party. Some people even believe that the core of the “red wave” is the “Trump wave”.
  Trump’s strong election ability in the party’s primary election once proved that he has a strong grip on the Republican Party. According to statistics from the US media, about 82% of the candidates supported by Trump (not including the incumbent) won the party’s primary elections. But the candidates he supports underperform other Republicans and even Democrats in the runoff, a situation that will hinder Trump’s political comeback.
  In the Senate, Trump’s favored candidates J.D. Vance and Ted Budd won Ohio and North Carolina, respectively, while Ron Johnson narrowly won in Wisconsin. But in key Pennsylvania and Arizona, Trump-backed Mehmet Oz and Blake Masters both lost to their Democratic opponents. Georgia has also become a key election to test Trump’s endorsement ability. Governor Brian Kemp, who was cut off from the “election theft theory”, defeated his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams. Shel Walker fell behind rival Raphael Warnock in the first round of voting in the Senate election.
  In the House of Representatives, Trump’s influence has spread to almost every corner of the House of Representatives campaign by endorsing incumbents and candidates for vacant seats. But as the counting results continued to be announced, some candidates supported by Trump either lost the election or had a lower lead than other Republicans. In the highly competitive swing areas such as Ohio’s 13th District, North Carolina’s 13th District, and Pennsylvania’s 8th District, Republicans supported by Trump have all lost.

  Combined with the situation during the 2018 mid-term elections, Trump’s endorsement has become a “double-edged sword.” On the one hand, with Trump’s support, candidates can improve their fundraising capabilities, but at the same time, they will also greatly mobilize their opponents, and even lead to more resources for candidates who oppose Trump’s endorsement. On the other hand, Trump’s endorsement focuses more on the 2024 general election, hoping to place his supporters in key positions, especially swing states that have an important impact on voting and vote counting in the next general election. But judging from the results, Trump’s endorsement has actually destroyed the Republican Party’s chances in some gubernatorial elections. In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maryland and Massachusetts, for example, Republican candidates advocating rigging in the 2020 election all lost.
  The Republicans are enough to smell the harm caused by “binding Trump” from this election, but it cannot be ignored that the Republican Party has undergone a long-term paradigm shift because of Trump. Especially when Trump himself and some Republican politicians are unwilling to recognize the results of the 2020 presidential election, the mediocre record may not be able to completely change the perception of Trump by Republican “hardcore fans”. With the rise of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a new star of the Republican Party and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with a good record in the mid-term elections, who is more representative of the future may become a topic of intense debate within the Republican Party in the next stage.
The 2024 general election kicks off

  There is no necessary connection between the mid-term election and the general election, and the Democratic Party’s “small losses and wins” in a certain sense this time will not directly translate into the results of the general election. However, this year’s mid-term election will shape the situation of the US government-congressional struggle and domestic politics in the next two years. The pattern will have a profound impact on the 2024 general election.
  The results of the mid-term elections will make the Republicans rethink their future campaign strategies. Trump’s “early entry” obviously failed to boost the Republican election, but “a blow to the head” may not be a bad thing for the Republican Party to adjust its strategy focusing on the 2024 general election in time. On the one hand, the Republican Party must think about how to use Trump’s still strong appeal while managing Trump’s destructive influence. The conservatism and nativism represented by Trump still have a large market in the Republican Party and even in the United States. Once the Republican Party chooses to cut the seat with Trump, it may force Trump to run as a third party, and the Republican Party will only be stronger. hurt.
  On the other hand, mid-term elections will intensify competition within the Republican Party. This election proved that Trump’s influence is not only limited, but also potentially harmful to the party, which will stimulate other challengers in the party to be more eager to try. After Florida Gov. DeSantis’ victory, his allies have widely campaigned, claiming that power in their party is beginning to gather behind them. DeSantis won the election cleanly and took home state Miami-Dade County. The county has been Democratic territory since Jeb Bush was elected governor in 2002.
  In addition to DeSantis, there are others in the Republican Party who are eyeing the 2024 presidential election. Trump’s decline has given them more confidence to challenge. South Carolina’s Tim Scott hinted at his presidential bid in a speech after winning the Senate race. Virginia Gov. Glenn Yonkin also didn’t dismiss the possibility when confronted by Fox News about his run for president.
  However, the intensification of competition within the Republican Party does not mean that the Democratic Party’s road to the 2024 general election is smooth, and the performance of the two parties in the midterm elections cannot predict the outcome of the 2024 general election. In the next two years, Biden is likely to face a “weak separation of government and council”. His performance in power will still determine the choice of voters, and the radical left of the Democratic Party may also cause further divisions within the party.
  For the Republican Party, around the theme of winning the 2024 general election, how to use the new power structure of Congress to constrain the Biden administration will become the core task of the next stage. First of all, the Republican Party will use its power to control the “money bag” to “add obstacles” to the existing political agenda of the Democratic Party. After the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, they will have appropriations and agenda-setting powers. Even if they cannot completely overturn the legislation previously signed by Biden, they can also block the specific implementation of the “Chips and Science Act” and “Inflation Reduction Act” by setting budgets and debt limits. implement.
  Secondly, the Republican Party will also increase its “retaliation” against the Biden administration and the Democratic Party. If the Republicans succeed in winning the House of Representatives, it is likely to dissolve the “Capitol Hill Riot” investigative committee and launch investigations on Biden and his team around the “Mar-a-Lago Search” incident and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. In addition, some radical Republicans have expressed their intention to impeach Biden. Although this impeachment is more symbolic, it will still involve the energy of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party.
  Finally, the Republican Party will also advance related agendas that are in line with its own party interests. The Republican Party may focus on reducing government spending, strengthening energy independence, enhancing border security, and cracking down on illegal immigration, all of which do not match the current priorities of the Democratic Party. However, the narrow advantage that the Republican Party is expected to gain in the House of Representatives will make it difficult for the above-mentioned agenda to advance smoothly. In this sense, this mid-term election not only means the beginning of the 2024 general election, but also heralds a new stage of the struggle between the two parties in the United States.

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