Turning points and Trumpism: the 2018 US midterm elections
The 2018 midterm elections will be the first nationwide test of the Republican and Democrat parties since the 2016 election that heralded President Donald Trump and saw the “America First” push begin
On November 6, voters will cast their ballots to decide who represents them in the hundreds of state and federal-level seats that are up for election in this cycle.
All midterm elections matter: they offer a chance to shift the country’s political and economic direction. A president that may have enjoyed warm working ties with the US Congress and a majority in one if not both of its chambers could suddenly find themselves facing a newly reinvigorated opposition intent on frustrating their agenda.
These elections are no different: President Donald Trump has taken to the campaign trail in recent weeks to fight for his Republican colleagues, hoping that they can retain and perhaps increase their majority of one in the US Senate and at least hold onto their majority in the US House of Representatives.
Republicans hope that the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda will gain votes: on the campaign trail, Trump has touted “Promises made and promises kept” including military build-up, tax cuts, deregulation, reform of trade deals, new jobs and economic growth as signs that he will “make America great again” and, if re-elected in 2020, keep it great.
On the other hand, not all Republicans agree with Trump’s agenda. Moreover, the Democrats, still sore from the bruising defeats of 2016, are keen to regain one or both Congress chambers as a springboard to taking the White House in 2020.
Were this not enough to set the stage for a hotly contested midterm election, these polls occur at a time when US society and politics appear to face a degree of polarisation not seen for many years, which itself could have wide-ranging economic and social effects.