The Democratic wave in midterm elections has been greater than what was believed during the election night. Democrats have seized between 37 and 40 seats for Republicans, the highest figure since the Watergate scandal. And when all the votes were counted, one or two senators could be lost – instead of the four announced at an early date and recovered from seven to nine governors. However, the conclusion on the plebiscite to the presidency of Donald Trump does not change. He has once again revealed a polarized country, fractured in two. A majority of Americans want the Democrats to put limits on the president, but in the rural states Trump has kept his support intact.
Democrats wanted an overwhelming victory that showed a strong rejection to the president. "This has not happened. What we have seen is an entrenchment, "said the political analyst at Cook Report Amy Walter-. Blue areas [pel color dels demòcrates] They have been blue, and the red ones [republicanes] They have been red. The only move has been in the districts that favored both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama slightly or where Donald Trump had won little by little. All of these have clearly opted for Democratic candidates. "
The blue wave monopolized urban areas and suburbs, even those that are historically more conservative. But he did not penetrate the so-called America of Trump, the most rural one. The Democrats did not win in any of the districts where the American president had overcome by more than 55%.
The Democratic Strategy
The trials have shown, on the one hand, that Trump maintains its ability to mobilize its voters, and, on the other, have left the disconcerted democrats about the political strategy they have to follow to win the presidential elections of 2020. Candidates that motivated voters with progressive programs, such as Beto O'Rourke in the Texas senator race, or Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams in the governors of Florida and Georgia, lost – even though in the last two cases the Final count could make the results change. But he also lost Fred Hubbel, a moderate democrat, in the Iowa governor's election.
Earlier this year, several democrats will decide if they want to be Trump's rival. Political analysts are already beginning to make crossings and party strategists ask several questions: is it a better moderate or progressive candidate ?, a veteran or a newcomer ?, a man or a woman?
Some of the names that sound for the Democratic presidential primaries have embraced the turn to the left of the party that promoted the candidacy of Bernie Sanders in 2016. This is the case of the senators of Massachusetts, California and New York, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, or the Senator of New Jersey, Cory Booker – even though the latter two are more moderate. On the list, however, there are also veterans and members of the party's elite such as former vice president Joe Biden or former CFO Eric Holden; pragmatic progressives such as the Senator of Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar, or the Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti; Independent like the ex-mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg; i outsiders from politics such as lawyer Michael Avenatti or even millionaires Tom Steyer or Howard Schultz.
Democrats have many options but have not yet overcome an identity and program problem. Their primary ones will be used to decide the scope of the turn to the left and know the degree of acceptance of progressive policies such as universal public health, a minimum wage of $ 15 per hour and the gratuity of university public education . Even so, Democrats can begin to face the lack of a clear message much earlier, as of January, when they take control of the lower house.
During the legislative elections, their proposals to improve the health system or defend workers' rights were overshadowed by Trump's anti-immigrant discourse. In the new Congress, the media will pay more attention because they will have the opportunity not only to curb the conservative agenda of the president but also to present and vote on various legislation on issues such as infrastructure, health, immigration or the fight against climate change, which They could define their program to the presidential ones.
Republicans, on the other hand, have capitulated to the trumpet and will support the president's policies, such as the wall on the Mexican border. In addition, they will continue to ratify conservative judges at all judicial levels and will be able to protect Trump if the Democrats decide to subject him to a process of dismissal. The elections have significantly reduced the number of moderate Republican lawmakers, in the same way that the 2010 Tea Party tsunami ended with so-called blue dogs (moderate democrats). The Congress, then, will be more polarized and is moving towards a political paralysis.
Democrats must try to negotiate with Republicans and gauge their opposition – such as how many investigations they open to the president and their government – if they do not want to be seen as vengeful and obstructive. Trump believes that a tough strategy for the Democrats would benefit. The president and his party will also have to decide whether they want to reach agreements with the Democrats on issues they share, such as reducing the cost of medication or investing in infrastructure. Of course, whatever moves they will be thinking about in 2020.