Trump: how the US elections cast new doubts on the image of the winner that the former president wants to project

Trump: how the US elections cast new doubts on the image of the winner that the former president wants to project

Donald Trump built his political career in the United States by projecting an aura of a born winner.

“I keep complaining until I win,” he said after announcing his 2015 GOP presidential bid.

“We are going to win so much that you are going to get fed up with winning,” he promised in 2016, the year of his great electoral victory that took him to the White House against many odds.

And, despite having lost his re-election in 2020, Trump tried to maintain an image of invincibility before his supporters: he refuses to this day to accept that result and falsely insists that he won.

But Tuesday’s midterm elections in the US to decide control of Congress and several state governors have cast new, perhaps final, doubts about Trump’s ability to win.

Although no ballot included his name, Trump endorsed different candidates and placed himself at the center of the elections, suggesting that he would announce his new presidential candidacy for 2024 a week after what he anticipated as a great wave of victories. Republicans.

However, now that this “red tide” is conspicuous by his absence and it is still uncertain which party will control Congress, some experts believe that Trump may have backfired.

“This weakens his position and influence within the Republican Party,” Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University who has written books on US elections, tells BBC Mundo.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

“A Pivot Point”

For one thing, while several Trump-backed Republicans triumphed, others suffered heavy defeats.

Among the former is J.D Vance, the bestselling writer who was once a critic of Trump and was elected senator from Ohio after the support he received from the former president in a state where he won comfortably in the last two elections.

Among the losers is Mehmet Oz, a Trump-backed TV doctor defeated in his Senate race by Democrat John Fetterman, who managed to snatch a valuable Republican upper house seat from Pennsylvania despite suffering a stroke on the campaign trail.

In that same state, Democrat Josh Shapiro defeated Doug Mastriano, a denier of the 2020 election results who was also supported by the former president.

Instead, at least 95 Republican deniers were elected to the positions of representative, senator or governor on Tuesday, while 28 were defeated, according to a BBC analysis.

Republicans seemed on track Wednesday afternoon to win at least the 218 seats they need to regain a majority in the House of Representatives.

But the fact that that is still pending confirmation, or that control of the Senate remains uncertain amid the highest inflationary rise in the US in decades and with the low popularity of President Joe Biden, sparked a search for those responsible in Republican ranks.

And some critics of Trump take direct aim at him.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted Wednesday that the GOP “should expel the Trump family from their future lexicon.”

“This is really a pivot point for the Republican Party,” Geoff Duncan, the Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, said on CNN on Wednesday.

“This is a moment where Donald Trump is definitely in the rearview mirror and it’s time to move the party forward.”

Duncan recalled reservations expressed before the election by Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about the “quality” of Trump-endorsed candidates.

It is precisely in Georgia where the majority of the Senate could be defined in a second round in December between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, a former football player supported by Trump.

Walker campaigned on social conservative agenda issues such as opposition to abortion, but in recent weeks it has come to light that he allegedly paid for an ex-girlfriend of his to have an abortion.

Abramowitz notes that the fact that Trump-backed candidates in key states lost or underperformed “raises questions about the effect their involvement is having on the party.”

“They blame me”

Trump himself acknowledged this Wednesday on his Truth Social platform that “in a way, yesterday’s elections were somewhat disappointing.”

But he added that from his point of view “it was a very big victory: 219 WINS and 16 Losses overall.”

“Who has done better than this?” he asked.

It is common for the president’s party to be punished in mid-term elections in the US.

But Democrats have shown more strength than many anticipated, rallying around issues like abortion rights, and may retain control of the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote.

Trump predicted Tuesday night that Republicans would win Congress, but said he would be personally blamed if anything different happened.

How much has the image of invincibility that Trump cultivated changed?
How much has the image of invincibility that Trump cultivated changed?

“What usually happens is that when they do well they don’t give me any credit, and if they do poorly they blame everything on me,” he told the conservative NewsNation network.

Another reason the election could have been a setback for Trump is that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis cemented himself as a conservative rising star by being re-elected by a wide margin.

In fact, this 44-year-old Republican who some are calling “Trump 2.0” is considered one of Tuesday’s big winners, reinforcing his image as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024.

“DeFUTURO,” headlined the conservative newspaper The New York Post on Wednesday’s front page, a pun on DeSantis’ last name, who appears in a photo celebrating with his family.

Trump seems to dislike the idea of this governor running for the Republican nomination for the White House.

Ron DeSantis: The Republican Governor of Florida was one of the big winners of the election.
Ron DeSantis: The Republican Governor of Florida was one of the big winners of the election.

“If he shows up, he could get very hurt,” the former president told Fox News on Tuesday. And he warned that it might reveal “things about him that won’t be very flattering.”

In dialogue with the BBC, Republican pollster and strategist Patrick Ruffini describes Trump as a “wounded animal” when comparing him to DeSantis’ electoral moment.

With Trump being president, Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections.

If they regain that majority now as seems likely, they may end the investigation into the violent invasion of Trump supporters on Capitol Hill in January 2021.

Since he left power, the former president has been subjected to other investigations for different reasons, from his handling of classified documents to business practices.

Trump may point to those cases as efforts to stop his potential run for the White House. And it is likely that his followers will believe him again.

The investigation into the invasion of the Capitol in January 2021 could end in the House of Representatives if the Republicans take control of it.
The investigation into the invasion of the Capitol in January 2021 could end in the House of Representatives if the Republicans take control of it.

The former president has already shown on other occasions that he is a difficult politician to beat at the polls. With a mobilized fan base like his, he would be back by 2024.

But since he entered politics, many have seen his relationship with Republicans as transactional: the party supported him despite all his controversies, and he provided the winning votes to push the conservative agenda.

Perhaps this has started to change since Tuesday.

Ben Oakley
Ben Oakley is the guy you can really trust when it comes to Mainstream News. Whether it is something happening at the Wall Street of New York City or inside the White House in Washington, D.C., no one can cover mainstream news like Ben. Get a daily dose of Trustworthy News by Ben Oakley, only at Globe Live Media.