Opinion polls in the US are open for important midterm elections, and Republicans are likely to go on to win. Without control in the House and Senate, incumbent President Joe Biden has a tough year ahead. BNR foreign commentator Bernard Hammelburg expects the consequences for Europe to be significant.
While it is the rule rather than the exception to punish the incumbent in the midterm elections, this battle for control in the House and the Senate has turned into a fickle race. The Democrats’ lead has all but faded after a vigorous race to catch up by the Republicans. However, we shouldn’t look too much at the polls, says America’s reporter Jan Postma. “They are really very close to each other, in principle they could go in any direction.”
At the start of the campaign, abortion was the main theme of this election. However, inflation, and thus the economy as a whole, has dominated the debate. “Voters generally have more confidence in Democrats when it comes to the economy,” Postma says. “But there is a lot of frustration about increased costs, both for groceries and fuel prices that are so important to Americans.”
Although he is not running this election, former President Donald Trump is casting a shadow over this midterm election. Yesterday, he announced that he would make a “very important announcement” on November 15. According to Hammelburg, it is inevitable that he will announce his candidacy for the presidential election of 2024. He has been working on it for some time, but he will also look at today’s result slanted. When there are Republican gains, he’ll say it’s because of him.”
Hammelburg says Trump’s shadow over this election extends far. In the Netherlands, you also see national politicians on TV during regional and local elections. Obviously, this election is about power in Congress, but Joe Biden and Donald Trump are fighting this battle.” So Trump’s influence can be seen primarily in the widespread growing skepticism about the results of the previous presidential election as well as the results of this election round. “This is really true,” says Hammelburg. Because of the Trump influence.” Within the Republican Party there is a growing group of politicians convinced of the theft of previous elections.
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Reporter Postma says that if the Democrats lose, incumbent President Joe Biden will face tough years. The Republicans will stop all the Democrats’ plans. This means that the abortion law will not be passed. And Republicans will conduct investigations into Biden himself and his son Hunter.”
This is not the first time that voters have punished a president in office. The same thing happened with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. They have lost power in both the House and Senate and are paralyzed. Because if you lose power in both places, all that’s left are foreign policy and presidential decree. However, both presidents were re-elected for a second term, Hammelburg asserts. Despite that slap in the face, both got a second term from the electorate. So a president without power in Parliament is not lost immediately.
While at first glance this midterm election appears to be a domestic matter, Bernhard Hummelberg believes the repercussions of the Republican gains will be felt in Europe. “You can expect Republicans to take a very critical look at military support for Ukraine. Under Trump, the alliance between America and Europe was already irritating. That was restored under Biden, but with so many Republicans in power, it could start to shake again. .
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