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US mid-term polls: Will Republicans loss cast shadow on Trump’s future?

By : Fayiq Wani | Updated on: 28 Oct 2018, 07:25:52 AM
US mid-term polls: Will Republicans loss cast shadow on Trump’s future?

New Delhi:

By all accounts, the forthcoming mid-term election holds the card to America’s political future. It will set the tone up for the 2020 presidential election, which Donald Trump will contest for his second term in office. Therefore, in plain words it is going to be referendum on the leadership of Trump whose flip-flop actions on political, economic, international and strategic issues have severely hurt America’s international standing as a powerful country.

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If Republicans don’t perform well in the election to the 435 House of Representative seats and the 35 Senate seats, there are chances Trump’s impeachment on the issue of the 2016 presidential polls could become a reality. Thus the November 6 mid-term election is going to be highly watched affairs in the US and the world.    

However, it would have turned disastrous had US authorities not intercepted crude pipe bombs sent to several prominent Democrats like former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN’s New York based headquarters, George Soros and others.

Since the development took place just ahead of US Congressional election, it has set many tongues wagging with people questioning the motive behind the selective nature of targeting by not so-far identified bombers.  In fact, those targeted by intercepted pipe-bombs belonged to a group which has no love lost for President Trump and his rash and unbecoming behaviour.

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Already some critics have begun to attribute the development to current violent political environment in America where, under the Trump administration, liberals, Blacks, Latinos, Asian migrants and women feel threatened and marginalized. His anti-migrant policy which has led to forcible separation of thousands of crying, hapless children from their parents who crossed into the US without documents, is a dark, chilling example of inhumanness.

While refusing to put on hold this policy, he brazenly said: “There have to be consequences” for entering the US illegally. His anti-Muslim rant and retweeting of anti-Muslim videos from a far-right British account in the name of national security awareness campaign, has been seen as a trenchant divisive move.

Worrisome part of his ongoing presidential inning is lack of consistency in his thought and action. Soon after his inauguration as the US President in January 2017, he announced withdrawal of America from the Climate Change talks. A few days ago when leading environmental scientists warned that the world is heading towards a temperature rise of 3C, Trump in his usual pouting style said scientists have a “political agenda.”

For women, his stand is well known. At least 22 women have accused him of the sexual misconduct. In the recent memory, he is going to be the first US President who is a few months away from possible impeachment on the issue of hacking of the 2016 presidential election.

In August, Trump’s long-serving attorney Michael Cohen and ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort were found guilty of financial misdemeanor by courts in New York and Virginia. This has further fueled the demand for Trump’s impeachment. If it has not happened so far, it is because of the fact that the House of Representative and the Senate are controlled by Republicans.

In the lower chamber of the US Congress, which is the House of Representative, 235 seats are held by Republicans, while Democrats have a control over 193 seats. Similarly in the upper chamber of the US Congress, which is Senate, Republicans have 51 seats, Democrats have a control over 47 seats.

Democrats also enjoy support of two Independents in the Senate. Of the total 35 Senate seats going for the polls, 24 are held by Democrats, nine by Republicans and two by Independents.  Hence on the face value, the partisan risk for Republicans is low in comparison to Democrats as they will have to win back not only all 24 seats they currently hold, they will also have to see that they bag 4 more seats to gain majority in the Senate.

Similarly to gain simple majority in the 435-member House of Representative, the Democratic Party will have to win 218 seats, which means 24 more than what it currently holds in the House.

Critics say that since the magic touch of President Trump has waned and he is more and more seen as a liability than asset, there is possibility Republicans don’t perform well in the election for both Houses. Going by some international watchers’ analysis even if Republicans win more seats in one house and lose in another, President Trump may not find it easy to have his agenda a smooth sailing.

In that way to say that he may face tough days ahead for himself after the mid-term polls will not be at all a cynical analysis of unfolding situation in America. For this, President Trump is himself to be blamed. He is the first ever US President against whom bureaucrats working in the White House have no positive views. Top ranking officials have already left the President. Even those who carry on in the job, have not very high opinion about Trump.

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The September 5 anonymous New York Times Op-Ed page editorial was below the belt remark against his leadership. It detailed a quite resistance at work in the White House. Also, some of the top ranking Republican leaders are not comfortable with Trump’s attitude and style of functioning. John McCain, the highly celebrated Republican Senator and Vietnam War hero, who died recently, was one of the most outspoken critics of Trump.

He was not invited by McCain’s family members for the dead Senator’s funeral ceremony in Washington on September 1, indicating it clearly that within hardcore Republican families too, the incumbent President is not an adorable face. In this background, it will be foolhardy to say that the November 6 mid-term election will not be a decisive one for Trump and his party.

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First Published : 28 Oct 2018, 07:25:14 AM