The election complicates the plans of Biden and Trump. Even polarized America doesn’t want a candidate that’s too radical, thought Kotábová

Kotábová also points to the fact that the election confirmed the ideological polarization of American society and the difficulty of finding a compromise, but at the same time brought the defeat of radicals and conspiracy theorists, which weakened Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidential nomination. in the Republican primary.

In the last American election, in which citizens of the United States decided to fill the office of President, the major theme was diverse voting modes. According to critics, he recorded for the Democratic Party. Does that also manifest in this year’s congressional elections?

You are referring to the issue of early voting and voting by mail, namely the possibility of voting before the usual election date and the possibility of voting by mail or in special mailboxes before the election date. Each state has a different arrangement of this electoral technique, and it seems that the Democrats especially benefit from the technique, which can put imaginary hands in their favor. They managed to persuade a certain number of voters to participate in the election, sometimes it was a bit doubtful, for example, by arranging joint ballot papers. Thematically, they were able to mobilize voters regarding the issue of abortion.

Prior to the election, there was talk that voters would send imaginary bills to the Democratic Party and Joe Biden’s presidency. Republicans did win when they gained a majority in the lower house of Congress, but it wasn’t significant. Is such a result surprising from your point of view?

That is. Historically, since World War II, parties that own the incumbent or have won the nomination have lost an average of twenty-six seats in the House and four in the Senate in midterm elections, while only gaining seats in one house five times. and only once in both rooms. The exception to this was the 2002 election, when, after the attack on the World Trade Center, Americans felt the need to visibly defend their president and therefore voted for his party. As is well known, the president is not elected in a by-election, but as the name suggests, this is an election in the middle of his term and is also considered a referendum on how the president holds office. And because Biden’s “job approval,” which is a public opinion survey that charts how the president stands with citizens, is low, voters are expected to make Democrats pay for his unpopularity. In addition, the economic situation, namely high inflation and rising unemployment, has also become a factor in criticism of the president, and voters are expected to support the Republican Party more.

Considering the fact that the Republican Party does not control the upper house of Congress, the Senate, and has lost two governor seats in each state in total, is it possible to talk about its victory?

Only limited and much smaller than expected. The Republicans will definitely win the House, though not by a landslide. However, they failed to convert the Senate to their side and lost a total of two governorships. At the federal level, this “divided government,” that is, a situation in which at least one chamber of Congress is dominated by a party other than the president, is somehow enough to make the next two years of the current president’s administration extremely uncomfortable.

The topic, at least in the domestic media, is the election of the Republican Party’s candidate, which should in many ways be based on their loyalty to Donald Trump. Do you think this factor had a more significant impact on the voting results?

Yes, I believe he has. The candidates who support Donald Trump or are supported by him mostly take radical positions on individual issues. For example, they identify with conspiracy theories about stolen elections and voting fraud, or favor individual states’ strict anti-abortion laws. Part of the problem is that party candidates for individual seats/offices are decided in primaries, which are usually attended by ideologically determined voters who often vote for the more radical candidates. This year, however, several candidates were profiled so sharply that voters ended up giving preference to a more moderate candidate for a seat in the midterm elections.

What do the election results say about the Democratic Party? There are also different directions within it, and representatives are spread relatively widely along the right-left imaginary axis of the political spectrum. Is there a more significant strengthening of either current among Democrats?

It’s hard to judge so soon after the election. However, it is true for both major political parties that, like the polarization that occurs in society, the flow of opinion is also determined within the party. The trend so far is for the more extreme and more radical wings to excel in their rhetoric. It remains to be seen how the situation will develop and whether the party will produce more conciliatory politicians. The election of the Democratic minority leader to the House, who the influential progressive Pramila Jaypal will not attend, will provide some clues. Following the resignation of Nancy Pelosi, mid-leaning Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar are running for the highest Democrat position in the House of Representatives hierarchy. Clark and Jeffries were more progressive, although Jeffries did not support the Green New Deal. However, the New Democratic Coalition, which is a ninety-nine-member democracy caucus aimed at building bridges between the party’s left and right, pursuing economic growth, innovation, and fiscally sustainable policies, maintains an attractive profile in the House of Representatives. The Progressives don’t seem to have gotten any stronger after the election, but they haven’t lost as much either.

Did the course and results of the election reveal anything new about the current United States and the political and social situation there? Does it confirm the traditionally mentioned polarization and division of the country?

Yes, he confirmed. It turns out that compromise is difficult to reach on many counts, and voters usually vote based on their ideological preferences. Former groups of voters who describe themselves as independents are increasingly leaning towards one party or another, and the number of voters voting for candidates from different parties in a single election for different seats or offices – so-called split-ticket voting – is declining. The number of states where one party dominates at the state level has also increased. So far, voters seem more afraid of compromise or even see it as a betrayal of their ideals.

How will the election result affect President Joe Biden’s remaining term? Does the fact that the Republican Party will have a relatively narrow majority in the House matter more in practice?

Yes he has. I already answered some of them in the introduction. The so-called “divided government” situation was enough for Republicans to fundamentally make the remainder of Biden’s term uncomfortable. Either by disapproving of the legislation that is necessary for its agenda — for it to pass, it must be approved in unanimous words by both houses of Congress — or by launching a series of investigations, or by stopping an investigation that was started. in a situation when it was both in the House and in the Senate a Democratic majority.

In conclusion, how much does the direction and outcome of this election affect the chances of Donald Trump, who announced his re-election last week, to return to the White House?

I believe he influenced them substantially. First of all, voters made it clear that they did not want a radical candidate who adhered to various conspiracy theories and did not recognize the election results. Second, some Republican politicians and possibly the public view Donald Trump’s endorsement – an expression of public support – for the candidate as a contributing factor to the candidate’s defeat. And finally, politicians appeared in the elections who performed very well and were able to attract voters, so they won by a large margin. Such a politician on the Republican side is undoubtedly Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who could become a very strong opponent for Trump in the Republican primary, where the party’s candidate for the next presidential election will be decided. Trump has publicly barred him from running in the presidential primary.

Roderick Glisson

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