Frustration with the President Causes a Republican Upset in the Senate

The head of state took on the midterm election with an unfavorable electoral map.

If defeat has 100 fathers, in this case defeat is not an orphan. When something doesn’t work in politics, it doesn’t matter what the statistics say, the boss is always to blame; in this case, President Barack Obama. Repudiated by even his own party — who put him on the bench and only brought him out in the final minutes — the president took on the midterm election with an undeniably unfavorable electoral map, having to defend “the worst group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower,” as Obama himself stated in a radio show on the night of his most bitter defeat.

Bitter because, paradoxically, despite statistics showing the unemployment rate is half of what he inherited from his predecessor; that the deficit has been reduced by the same amount; that gas prices have fallen considerably; and that the economy is growing, seven out of 10 Americans believe that the economy is struggling or even performing poorly. The figure rises to eight out of 10 when asked whether the economy will worsen next year, according to exit polls.

Put in perspective, there are nuances to the defeat: At the end of the day, Republicans will hold 52 seats in the Senate (maybe 54 depending on what happens in Alaska and Louisiana), as opposed to the 59 held by the Democrats when Obama came into the White House in 2008. It is for this reason and the inevitable contradictions that appear when it is time to vote — voting based on the candidate’s personality or family tradition — the president may feel that there has been an injustice. Otherwise, how do you explain that in one state — Arkansas — where representatives who defend the view that increasing salaries will reduce new employment have won, a referendum to increase the minimum wage has been passed?

This year’s result has to be understood with a hint of frustration, as a rejection-based election in which the Republican message that if people voted for them, they were voting against Obama made a real impression.

Unable to capitalize on the damage the Republican Party caused to the country with the government shutdown, from then on the Democrats did not cease to add up crisis after crisis, scandal after scandal. In the face of a possible new Cold War following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and what meant the total confirmation of the loss of optimism from the Clinton years, unfavorable episodes for the White House mounted up. Whether it was the incompetent Secret Service, Islamic State terrorism — despite the fact that there have been no attacks on the U.S. during Obama’s presidency — an unexpected return to Iraq, Ebola, the avalanche of young people on the Mexican border, or the famous poor functioning of the health reform website.

Washington became a black hole for voters, in the lair of malfunction, in the obstacle that prevented the Democrats — despite the president’s last-minute attempts to mobilize black voters — from maintaining control of the Senate. On Tuesday night, the Republicans won the states of Arkansas, Montana and South Dakota; they uprooted the Democrats from North Carolina, regained Colorado and Iowa and also won in West Virginia, where they had not done so since 1956. It is worth note that Obama’s party was close to losing Virginia.

Another factor in the Republican resurgence has to do with the maturity of the party, the softening of their policies, with distancing themselves from strident figures such as legislator Todd Akin — who claimed to differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate rape — “no more Todd Akins,” they stated in a meeting of the Republican National Committee at the beginning of 2013, where they drew up a strategy to retake the Senate.

None of Obama’s midterm elections have been good for the Democrats. The debacle of 2014 and 2010 — when they lost the House of Representatives — rivals those suffered by Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1994, known as the most destructive events for the party of the president in power since the end of World War II.

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply